The economy is often a focus in a general election; however, only approximately 20 percent of the U.S. population actually focuses on their individual budgets. Yahoo Financially Fit website estimates that about 50 percent of Americans survive paycheck to paycheck.
One idea for splitting up one’s paycheck is to allocate 50 percent for housing, utilities, groceries, insurance and other expenses needed for survival, ie, non-discretionary expense; at least 10-20 percent for savings; and the balance for discretionary spending such as meals out, entertainment, and the like.
The more one can increase the savings percentage, and reduce the discretionary spending, the less stress will be felt when the unexpected expense occurs.
It is also important to note that if the non-discretionary expense is higher, one may need to re-evaluate the discretionary spending, in order to live within means.
Small purchases add up, so be sure to review spending at least monthly.
Do you have tips for “Surviving Within The Means”? Please share with us here, or on Facebook.
In this fast paced and busy world, it is easy to overlook how much is being spent, and where.
To avoid potential ‘surprises’, why not create the helpful habit of reviewing the Company and Family budget monthly, isolating the items that are ‘Wants’, and not what is ‘Needed’ for operation or survival. Work at cutting these ‘Want’ costs using the following suggestions:
- Scale back the Cable/Satellite plans
- Compare Telephone and Cell plan costs
- Will bundling plans save?
- Water Cooler or filtered water system
- Office equipment leases
- Teleconference instead of Travel
- Turn off lights when room not in use
- Use fans instead of AC when possible
- Shorten the shower
- Monitor the lawn and garden watering. Is the water is running down the sidewalk?
- Eat out less, brown bag when possible
- Check for discounts and coupons before you purchase
These are just a few ideas, however, at the end of the month you might just find Benjamin Franklin smiling back at you.
MJB’s Bookkeeping Solutions would appreciate hearing from you about your Budget Saving Tips. Connect with us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Email.
How to Fly Cheaper During the Holidays
The price of flying can depend on the day, the time, the airline, when booked, and of course the current price of fuel. The cost of fuel cannot be individually controlled; however, one can spend less by using one of the several online sites like:
Booking Flights in advance is a money saving option, as is searching for Coupon Codes for airline deals.
Do you have tips for flying for less? Please share your ideas in this blog or on Facebook.
Do you stay awake at night fretting over finances?
I have read that people who balance their checkbooks have less money stress, and that people who use online banking check their accounts at least once a week or more. In this age of Identity Theft, frequent account monitoring alerts one to potentially fraudulent activity.
- Conveniently use your Bank Statements online and print as needed, rather than storing years of paper statements.
- Buy a zipper-compartment wallet from Jack’s Marketing Services, save your receipts, and regularly match the transactions with your online ledger.
- If not using desktop accounting software, check out free personal finance online, which will display your records from various accounts in one place.
The few minutes spent now to maintain finances, will help alleviate stress, and eliminate the need to recreate a transaction history from scratch later.
There are at least two ways for Business and Individuals to keep track of up to date Cash Flow.
- Manually enter Check, Debit Card, EFT, ACH, or Deposit data into the account:
- Open the Quickbooks Bank Ledger in one window, and the corresponding Bank Account online in another window – a two monitor system works great for this.
- Match the Bank Online new transactions (since the last bank statement) to those in the Quickbooks Bank Ledger.
- CLICK in the column located between the ‘Payment’ and ‘Deposit’ columns, until an ‘*’ (Asterisk) appears next to that transaction. (The ‘Asterisk’ differentiates from previous Bank Statement reconciled data.)
- At Bank Statement reconciliation, these items will already have a check in the ‘Reconciliation Screen’.
- In most cases there will be a ‘Zero’ difference indicated at bottom right of the Reconciliation Screen.
- CLICK ‘Reconcile Now’ and all the ‘*’ (Asterisk) will change to ‘√’ (Check-mark) in the Quickbooks ledger.
- If the difference is not ‘Zero’, compare the Bank Statement transactions one by one with the Quickbooks ledger to find the missing transactions(s).
- Another method is to download the transactions from the Bank on a regular basis.
- ‘Download’ all the transactions since the last Bank Statement. (Or the last download for those who already use this method.)
- There is no reason to hand enter data into Quickbooks; they will already appear in a ‘Downloaded Transactions’ window.
- Allocate to the proper ‘Chart of Accounts’ account and save.
- As the transactions are saved, they will appear in the Quickbooks Bank ledger with a ‘ζ’ (Lightening Bolt), the symbol for allocated downloaded transactions.
- If some transactions have previously been manually entered, these will appear as a ‘Matched Transaction’ in the ‘Downloaded Transactions’ window, simply verify the match and save.
- When time to reconcile the next Bank Statement, all transactions will have been downloaded.
- Match the Deposits, Checks, Debits, EFT, and/or ACH transactions to arrive at ‘Zero’ difference.
- CLICK ‘Reconcile Now’ and all the ‘ζ’ (Lightening Bolt) will change to ‘√’ (Check-mark) in the Quickbooks ledger.
Either method will help provide up to date cash flow information for Business or Individual accounting. The key is to update the data on a regular basis which will also save time in the long run.
What other questions do you have concerning Quickbooks? LIKE us on Facebook, Email, or Call.
If you use Customer Invoicing, it is important to receive the payment against the appropriate Customer Invoice to CLOSE the Invoice.
In cases where this process has not been followed, the payment will show in the Bank Account ledger as a Deposit, however, the Invoice will still be OPEN, overstating your Account Receivable Income.
One way to correct, if the account has not been reconciled for this period, is to delete the Deposit from the ledger; go to the Customer Tab, click Receive Payment, select the appropriate Customer, and select the related Invoice. Save and Close.
Do you have questions about other Quickbooks processes? Submit your questions here, or on our Facebook page.