Skip to main content

Post Topics

Show more

HELP Overdraft Fees! | The secret to never paying another overdraft fee for the rest of your life!

Per Help!!



What if you are a chronic over-drafter, and you can't make heads or tails of your account, and you just want to "Keep It Simple Stupid"?


  • Some people can separate and compartmentalize their finances easily.
  • Some have no idea what they pay each month. 
  • Others are 6 months behind before they know how late they really are (this one would be me...). 


You don’t have to be a strict budgeter but you do have to have guidelines and principles you live by.

If you are behind, or you feel lost in financial windfall, don’t worry you are not alone.

Many people who have long degrees after their name get lost when dealing with money.

It’s among the most important practical skills most people could learn, but many don’t know where to start. We will examine a few things you can try if you are buried and don’t know how to get out.

Nothing comes fast and easy, but with some good information and willingness to try new things you can start your journey to a better place, one step at a time.

~Time for a Do Over~

            
If you find your life in chaos and you can’t tell where your money is or is not going then you may want to start by starting over.

Calling it a do over is just fine.

In fact, if you have an account that is often overdrawn, you may even want to consider closing it and starting a new account number so that you can start your new register skills at square one.

In addition, if there were automatic payments causing the overdrafts they will cease because that account is closed and they will not have your new account number. Don’t give it to them either. Pay them in cash, with online bill pay, or money orders. 

If you deal often with overdrafts you should not give your card or account number to any merchants for payments, even one-time payments.

Often they will start drafting automatically again once they have your new information, even if you told them not to. Don’t put yourself in that situation. If they demand auto pay, set up a new account number separately just for auto pays and another for your main bills and spending.

~The Cash Method (Dave's Envelope System)~


The easiest budget is to take out cash, envelopes, and an inexpensive notebook.

On each envelope write a category (gas, rent, groceries, bills, etc…). You can even keep a separate envelope for each bill.

For each envelope you will have a separate notebook or section of a notebook. 

Some people even write their balances straight on the envelope and subtract as they go right on the envelope itself.

Whatever works for you is the best way. 

Try it different ways until you find what works.

Tag each notebook section or envelope with a separate label and write on the first page the name of the category and balance (amount in envelope). 

In this example you will see “Bills” on the envelope. 






The deductions are taken each day. 

This person turned those cash deductions either into money orders, or made payments at local stores. In many cases you can pay an electric bill at the local grocery store customer service desk, or other partner business. 

Each time you make a withdrawal from the envelope you write down the date and amount and reason.

As you get comfortable with this cash method you can eventually combine the envelopes of various categories into one envelope. Then have one notebook for your cash. Then mark in that notebook the date, money, and category and in the separate category notebook you write the date, money, reason (specific).

This whole process isn’t necessary forever, only until you have a firm, comfortable, grasp on where your money is going and you are disciplined to spend the right amount at the right places.
            
You should plan your monthly budget out to include everything from bills to fun.

If you don't plan in the fun, you will do it anyway. 

You must plan fun or you will binge-spend causing more money to go to that than you would want which would take away from the money that should go to other things.

~Bill Pay and Money Orders~

            
Once you really get this down your ready to put all that money into an account.

Start with money orders or Bill Pay and don’t use an ATM/Check Card until you’re thoroughly sure that you are ready.
           
Piece by piece you add services the bank offers.

Stay away from credit cards unless and until you can honestly call yourself disciplined to pay them in full each month.

Once you're sure you can use a credit card to your advantage, you could pay everything with the credit card and get one with a great rewards program.

Make sure to pay it off in full every month never carry a balance on a credit card.

They may offer amazing deals with 0% APR for 6 months. But what you don’t know is that if the card isn’t paid off within 6 months many companies will back date that interest to day one.

Think of credit cards as a convenience tool, like a check or debit card. You don’t use a credit card unless you have the money to pay it off. Credit cards can be useful because errors caused by merchants or fraud through use of the card won’t affect your cash balances in your checking account directly, where as they will if you had used your debit card. Think of your debit card and credit cards as the same or similar tools.

~The Multiple Account Method~            

I prefer having separate accounts for separate purposes.

Much like an electronic version of the envelopes.


  • I have one account for just bills. 
  • Another for spending money. 
  • Another for tithe and offering. 
  • Another budgeted for the kids. 
  • You could also use one for business purposes, budgeting play money, gas money, or hobby money... you get the idea.

Any time you need to allocate funds for a special purpose a separate account could be useful, as long as you keep track of what is what.

I have my direct deposit split into each account automatically. Tithe then is as simple as going online and sending that payment from that account twice a month. 

I have a little extra put in there to save for special offerings or things God may want me to do for Him; such as buying someone a hamburger or a new car.

I know my money is His, so I plan for Him to ask me for its use to further His kingdom.

~The Computer Method~


Quicken is among the most popular budgeting programs available. I strongly recommend using a computer based program to act as your electronic register. It helps ensure you are not making mathematical errors in the record keeping process. If all you have is pen, paper, and calculator you may forget where you left off, or hit the wrong button. If you miss tally the total and don’t see it, you risk overdraft. 

This will help you gain better control and efficiency over your finances.

Microsoft Office Excel is the least expensive way to keep a balance on the computer.

If you can’t afford Microsoft Office on your computer do a Google search for “Open Office”. Download that and use their “Calc” program, it is their version of Excel. It is a free open source program that does most of the basic things Microsoft Office does. Google Spreadsheets is free now too.

OpenOffice also has within their Office Suite a free version of PowerPoint, Word, and other programs. It’s not pretty, it doesn’t do everything, and you’ll still wish you had Microsoft Office, but it gets the job done in this case if you don’t have Microsoft Office or choose not to spend your money on it at this time.

~Using Excel~


Just start columns for each thing you need to track. 

Typically you only need: 
  • Date, 
  • Transaction, 
  • Amount, 
  • Balance, 
  • and Total.  
To add it all up at the top of the column over the dollar figure just use the sum formula[1]. The letter shows the vertical column and the number shows the horizontal row of the cell you are talking about.

To see a running balance along the side after each transaction just add the cell above to the cell new cell. In this example cell “D6” is 100 plus cell “C7” which is -850.

You must use the negative in front of all subtractions to make this method work. It is among the simpler ways to format your sheet.

Excel Examples







~Co-Accounting~

           
If you are married, or otherwise responsible for the bills and income of more than one equally involved person, communication is key. You must find a way to keep the lines of communication open and this way all parties involved are aware of the state of the accounts.

Almost without exception one person is a natural saver the other is a natural spender. If one person does all the banking there is bound to be tension. 

The banker of the family is likely to feel all the pressure of the bills and the rest of the family will go on oblivious to the situation and pressure the banker to lighten up because they want to spend the bill money on fun and food. If the banker of the family were to become in any way unable to participate, even if they are organized, the other person will be lost when bills are due.

Although we’re still working on improving, my wife and I came up with a few ideas that have helped over the years. 

One of the best, since she is better organized and we are both busy, is that she gives the bills to me with instructions on who to pay and how much. 

Then can I pay them with our online Bill Pay service. 

This way we both know what bills we’re paying and the best part is that it opens the door of communication about finances. (I've done a horrible job at working with her on this, but when we do it, it works).




[1] Example of sum formula “=SUM(C6:C13)” and “=D6+C7”





The Insider

The Insider is a BIG fan of Dave Ramsey:

  • Go read/listen/watch Dave Ramsey and he'll teach you how to do it right!
  • Listen to The Dave Ramsey Show (HERE)

Comments

Connect With Me

Popular posts from this blog

New Post at Wolfe for Office

I wrote a new post: I am a Conservative-Liberal | Republicans and Democrats are actually the same party, here's why I'm a #ChristianLibertarian







Darrell G. Wolfe

Story Teller | INFJ | Futuristic | Intellection | Learner | Ideation | Achiever | Command | Input | Focus | Multipotentialite

Book Review: Name of the Wind

So a while back, I was walking through Auntie's Bookstore, in Spokane, WA. I've read pretty much everything ever written by Ted Dekker, Bill Myers, CS Lewis, JRR Tolkien, and many others.

I told her I like the Fantasy & Science Fiction genres, and I was looking for a new author.

"I have just the one," she said. "Follow me." She came out from behind the counter and we meandered up and down a few aisles. "Here it is," She turned and handed me this book:



"Hm. I've never heard of him," I replied.

"He's Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, and Chronicles of Narnia all wrapped up into one amazing story," she was quite excited. "You'll love it!"

The woman handed me a few others to consider and then went about her duties. I took pictures but didn't have any money to spend that day.

Later, because I'd mentioned it, my boss bought it for my birthday.

I just finished all 713 pages, and I am AMAZED!

This migh…

An Open Letter: John Stumpf, Wells Fargo Board, and Policy Making Departments

On 12/28/13, I wrote the following letter to the then CEO & President of Wells Fargo, John Stumpf. It was in part, a response to the LA Times Article and the poor response from Wells Fargo leadership.

I later worked for the executive office and saw how they handle these letters. They assign them to a paper-pusher who could care less. They draft a form response, and it gets tallied in the statistics.

By the time it makes it to the CEO, it's only data in a pie chart. "We had 365 complaints this month. x number of complaints about checking, y number about sales practices, Etc." They tally it up, if it's not a big enough stat, it gets zero attention. Most things that do require attention get just enough to make it go away, but never deal with the root.

I was one of many hundreds who spoke up loudly and actively for years before 2013 and years after. The news cycle of 2016 showed that it cost them $185 Million dollars to ignore the feedback their frontline Team Membe…

Order. Chaos. In Between... The Bible

The Dark Ages were primarily due to religion.  Religious leaders had the audacity to claim that only they could interpret the Word of God for the simple-minded laymen. Even clergy of lower stature couldn't read the bible. This led to the strange fantasies, whimsies, and odd ideas of any number of so-called "Priests". 
Enter Martin Luther, circa 1517 A.D. He had the outrageous claim that all men were saved by Faith, and not deeds required of them by Religious Leaders. How did he get this idea? Reading the bible for himself.
The Reformation directly caused the Enlightenment.
When men were allowed to read the Bible for themselves, instead of being told what to believe by so-called leaders, they found a God of order. Therefore, the Earth created by this God would have order.
This thought led to Newtonian Physics, printed books, engines, light bulbs, Einstein's theory of relativity...
All science, medical advancements, everything you drive, see, eat...
The next time you …

Dreaming Blue: Faith and Hope Expounded

Hebrews 11:1

English Standard Version (©2001)
Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.

American King James Version
Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

Douay-Rheims Bible
Now faith is the substance of things to be hoped for, the evidence of things that appear not.

Weymouth New Testament
Now faith is a well-grounded assurance of that for which we hope, and a conviction of the reality of things which we do not see.

Young's Literal Translation
And faith is of things hoped for a confidence, of matters not seen a conviction,

Interlinear Bible

1Nowfaithis the substance of things hoped for , the evidence of thingsnotseen . ~estin{V-PXI-3S}de;{CONJ}pivsti?{N-NSF}ejlpizomevnwn{V-PPP-GPM}uJpovstasi?,{N-NSF}pragmavtwn{N-GPN} e~legco?{N-NSM}ouj{PRT}blepomevnwn.{V-PPP-GPN}
_________________________________________

Hope: Greek Elpid'zo
to expect or confide:-(have, thing) hope(-d) (for)

Faith: Greek Pistis
conviction …

What is a Topos? A strategic position of opportunity and influence

What does Topos mean?Topos is a Greek word meaning: "Place, or Opportunity"
Properly:Any portion of space marked off, as it were, from surrounding, space Metaphorically: The condition or station held by one in any company or assemblyopportunity, power, occasion for actingA spot (general in space, but limited by occupancy; whereas chora is a large but participle locality). As used by me: Topos is a strategic position of opportunity and influence
Topos: Your Calling Everyone has a God given calling on this earth. There is something you were created and designed to do. What you are doing now may be "The Calling"; or, it may be the calling for this season of your life. Either way, you are either in your Topos, or you need to find it.

As you read the stories of biblical heros like Noah, Abraham, Joseph, Moses, David, Nehemiah, Peter, and Paul... etc... you find that God put them in the right place to do the right thing at the right time.

They ended up in their Topos, …

White Nose | Scene 3

The Aleve took effect with the help of two breakfast whiskey sours. It had been three days since his tussle in town and he still couldn't sleep, despite the nighttime cocktail.
Beams of light broke through the trees outlining Ash's house, tucked back off of the main road by a mile long rock driveway. One such beam was tanning his pale country face as he rocked on an old wooden chair he'd carved himself. Whittling was one of his most relaxing and profitable talents.
One look in the mirror each summer reminded him that he only retained two colors, pale Irish freckle and redneck red. Ash was careful to avoid too much contact with summer's star.
Dust down the drive revealed the presence of a visitor before the sound of tires on gravel confirmed it. Ash hasn't been visited by more than three people in the eight years he'd been back in town, so he picked up the hunting rifle, just in case.
The scope showed the local sheriff, his friend Dan. He didn't usually com…

Focus... Unfocused

There's a version of my writing that is organized, thoughtful, researched, helpful, even inspired at times... And then there's the other stuff. The other stuff is wild, incoherent, off the cuff, straight from my mind to your eyes, unfiltered, unedited. I've tried to separate these into different sites, combined them again, separated them again.... *sigh*I have too many thoughts, too many opinions, I know too much to ever make any of it make coherent sense on one website.So, here's my newest attempt to make it work... My blog, the one under my name, DarrellWolfe.com, it's for my randomness. This is where I'll post whatever I want, whatever thinking about, randomness.I'll link out to posts at my other sites, be they few or many, and you can find the organized stuff there. Let's see if that helps me keep some semblance of order.Darrell Wolfe Version 1,037



Topos Transitions

Transitions are rough. I've been through many seasons of my life where I had to make a transition. At each and every stage it was tough. There are always things you miss about the last season, things you are hoping for in the next season, and things you can't wait to be rid of in the season you're leaving behind.Whether you are sensing the winds of change blowing you out of your current situation, you are in the middle of the trip, or the winds are at your back and you settling in to your new spot... Remember this word: ToposTopos is a Greek word and it essentially means:Your strategic position of opportunity and influence.Make your Topos count today, wherever you are.Darrell




Credit Building

I just met three people working at Carl's Jr. We had a great talk about income, credit, and demystifying credit. So many people need a financial doctor and don't know it. Or they do know that they need one but don't know how easy it is to have one. I gave them a few tips, my business card for credit, my friend Ben's business card for Insurance and Investments, and told them to come see me so we can get into more details.They didn't realize that someone would be willing to help without having to pay a consulting fee or go or a class.I love helping people. Love it. And as Zig Ziglar said: You can have anything you want in life if you help enough other people get what they want. I don't concern myself with whose going to make me a sale, who I can get something from, etc. If I simply help everyone I can, without regards to my reward for it, the reward will come as a byproduct.It was a great reminder that I'm on the right path.Darrell

About Me

My photo

Hi! My name is Darrell G. Wolfe. I am a wealth of random information and I make complicated things simple at DarrellWolfe.com.

I have a knack for absorbing information, breaking it down to its root elements, and teaching it to others.

Most importantly, I help purpose-driven people to understand their place in His-Story and provide them the tools they need to fulfill their unique position of opportunity and influence in this world (their Topos).