Buying into a Budget
The idea of living on a budget can seem tedious, restrictive and daunting. In reality, living by one is incredibly freeing. A simple, effective budget requires only three things: information, income and expenses.
Start with Your Income
What you use to create a budget is less important than the information you include. Use Excel, Word or a pen and paper to write down, in as much detail as possible all sources of income you have coming in to your home each month (salary, tips, child support, investment income, etc.). Subtract what you pay in taxes and underline or bold the final amount.
End with Your Expenses
Write down all your monthly expenses, starting with bills like rent/mortgage, utilities, credit cards, groceries, gas, etc. That amount should equal 40% or less of your pre-tax income. Then, record what you'd like to spend money on (saving, retirement, entertainment, shoes, vacation, etc.). Bold the final number and compare it with your income total. Your expenses should be less than your income. If they're not, cut until they are.
When it comes to shredding, the safest approach is to think of your home or business as a liquidation company - everything must go! Every day hackers and ne'er-do-wells find data in dumpsters that they can use to steal business and personal information. Shredding everything removes that possibility.
Shred Safe, Shred Often
There are a few things you can do in your office or at home to dramatically reduce the amount of information that makes it to the trash:
- Make shred receptacles accessible and convenient.
- Check individual trash cans at the end of each work day and dump all paper and media trash into the shred bin.
- Send tapes, CDs, disks, old credit cards and hard drives to the shred bin too!
Choose a shred company that processes more than just paper and make it easy for your employees or your family to keep your personal, financial information safe through shredding.