Budget 101 Your Money Inventory

100 dollar bill in the light

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Budgeting money first steps

Money Inventory Basics

It’s that time again, Tax season.  The first quarter of every year is when new resolutions are made, and many people get their tax refund. Tax refund time is the perfect setting to start your financial makeover.

Some years ago, I got fed up with my financial status. I had a good income but I could not keep any of the money I made for any length of time.  There had to be a reason I was making a good living but living paycheck to paycheck. Many of us may find ourselves in the same situation.

When you think about your finances and where your money is going, on the surface things may seem ok. A closer look at your finances may be in order. I know you may have heard this all before, but it really is true. Money and resources must be managed.  The time is ripe to knuckle down and become your own auditor.

Where do I start: Budget – Money  – Inventory


  1. Grab a piece of paper ( Not your computer or tablet)
  2. Think – about every and I mean every dollar you spend.
  3. write down three columns on the piece of paper. Label them Bills – Necessary – Unnecessary.
  4. Write every dime you have spent in the last three months in bills and spending.
  5. Separate the items into the three columns.
  6. List how much money you make per month on the paper.
  7. Add the total of the columns and play with the unnecessary from the money you make to see how much you can save.

100 dollar bill in the light
100 dollar bill in the light

photo credit: torbakhopper transparency with ben, scott richard via photopin (license)

What am I doing

Recording where your money has gone is a start and only a start. The reason for writing down these numbers is to find out how many bills and spending items are on the table.  The next action putting items in categories gives you and indication where your money is going while placing priority on those funds.

I did it you can too!

Listing out where my money was going was a sobering act. I started to find my bank account had a trickle in the form of $20 to $100 expenses that were a pure luxury and very unnecessary.  Little money vacuums such as subscriptions, dues for things I really did not use and other money ripping items. those were the bills listed in the unnecessary.


Once I had a visual on expenditure, it was easy to see I could get my money in control. It became a game to see how much I could save.  When I had a bill that I could not pay off immediately, I developed a time plan by attacking the smallest, then rolling the payments of the paid off debt to the next item on the list. My family thought I was nuts, as they had not had a money mindset change as I had. Actually, my divorce came some time later(go figure). It was imminent anyway. I went nuts, I called credit card companies, closed accounts,  got rid of cable channels, started taking car of my own lawn and snow. I was a mad man.

I want to touch on something I may have breezed over. The reason for the 3 moths of bills was to get a good average of items that many not occur every month. Those surprise non-monthly bills can hit you in the face. If you don’t take an average over time of your spending habits, that sudden expense could derail your efforts.

24 Months – The Outcome Over Time

Failure to reach a goal is typically due to unrealistic expectations. 24 months is a good timeframe to make great changes in your life. As you rid yourself of the unnecessary cost in your life, freedom will show up. The goal is to run for the duration and not sprint to the finish line. This is a lifestyle to make living better and more manageable. Freedom of choice will become more dominant as you free up money to be used or invested. The task I have placed before you is really easy. Start with one item per month then use the snowball moeny management method to get your finances in order.

Next time I will show you some free tools to help you budget.

Now go live the Billionaire Lifestyle.


Peace Out Emmitt



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Why was I broke, Why we stay broke.

13 Reasons why you are broke.
13 Reasons why you are broke.

Thinking back over the course of my adult life, before getting financially hip to the game, it’s a wonder I was able to function.

One observations I can remember, I have always made a decent living and been able to provide for myself and my family. With a few hiccups. The biggest problem I faced was always teetering on the edge of living paycheck to paycheck, or paycheck to search the couch for change. Somehow I managed to stay above water enough to think I was living comfortably. There must have been angels looking out for me constantly, because I cannot for the life of me figure out how I did not file for bankruptcy.

Many years of learning and experiences in my life taught me to change my mindset and look at things in the most basic and efficient method possible. There is a reason so many people write books and keep Amazon busy in the self-help section. Many of the topics are taken from the list provided in this post, oh which I have digested.

  • How to win friend and influence people.
  • Think and grow rich.
  • Rich Dad, Poor Dad.

These are just a few.

Here are some of the reasons we are broke and I was no exception until I gather the understand required to live the life wanted.

1.) Keeping up with the Jones
Basing your life on what other people are doing and trying to match their lifestyle.

2.) Bad habits – Spending money on drinking, smoking and just hanging out and doing nothing. If you smoke 3 packs of cigarettes a week at $6.50 a pack = $19.50 a week = $1014.00 a year.

3.) Stop learning – We live in a rapidly changing world and it is easy to become irrelevant. Irrelevant means low or no money.

4.) Playing the Lottery – Playing the lottery is a sucker bet, if you follow a lottery player and add the money spent on purchasing the lottery tickets it out weights the winnings from playing the lottery.

5.) Making minimum payments – Most credit cards and installment loans with a balance of $500.00 dollars and making the minimum payment can take 35 years to pay the debt back.

6.) Having No Goals – People without a goal tend to wander and go for anything. This means letting money go easily.

7.) Wrong crowd – The crabs in a bucket analogy is so strong here. Crowds influence you and you tend to take on characteristics of the people in your circle.

8.) Couch Potato – Couch potatoes tend to miss opportunities.

9.) Blaming Other – Blaming others is not motivational and places you in a cage, not allowing you to grow and accept challenges.

10.) Impulse buying – Impulse buying is not being in control of your emotions, in turn causing you to never have the money. We all have had the retail therapy bug, but when it happens to often we are left broke and feeling worse than when we started.

11.) Can’t say no – Sometimes “no” is exactly what you need to say. Saying no places you in a state of self-control of many circumstances. Saying yes is only good when you can do so comfortably helps you to stay on track. Your friends decide to jet off to Las Vegas and the first of the month when your rent is due. Your answer is sorry I can’t, I have other obligations.

12.) Thinking Rich people are evil – Often the media and within poor and  lower middle class society we are taught people with more money than us are evil. Most movies portray the Rich person as evil or just a plain old jackass. In real life many of the charities and educational programs are funded by these very people we think are evil.

13.) Not exercising Exercise keeps the mind strong and also help to keep your mood in a good place too. When you have a good mood, look good and feel good physically things will gravitate to you.


Now you know

Go Live The Billionaire Lifestyle

Emmitt Muckles


photo credit: broken cup via photopin (license)

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What? I’m An Adult?

That moment when Adulthood gets real.
That moment when Adulthood gets real.

For most of us mentally adulthood was not a sudden thing, we just found ourselves THERE. I thought about this off and on over the years and came to a conclusion, for me it was kind of experiment in freedom that evolved until I had a oh shit moment.  Basically  I can remember testing the waters of adulthood around the age of 16 1/2 when I got my first “Real Job” as a dishwasher in a Hilton hotel. Before getting that job of mine, I just tried daily to stay occupied so my mom had not reason to give me something to do. Then one day I found myself with something to do constantly, and it was after getting my first full responsibility job. So here it was for me, in steps I can remember.

  1. At 16 had a girlfriend who attended Purdue University ( yes I was in high school, my game was tight…lol)
  2. Got a Job working as a dishwasher, at Detroit Metro Airport Hilton. (worked my ass off too)
  3. Opened a checking account
  4. Began to save Money.
  5. Had to buy my own cloths now, as my mother explained it. “You work, get your own clothes”.
  6. Got my first loan. The loan was through a local credit union. I impressed the loan lady because I saved $800.00 as a deposit, but had no money for car insurance thanks Dad for the insurance down payment)
  7. Bought my first Car
  8. Broke up with girlfriend, had freedom now, silly me (She was smart too, she’s an engineer now)
  9. Got 15 more girlfriends over time
  10. Purchased a gold chain on credit to help credit rating it (gold chains, and car audio were the hot thing).
  11. Opened a Hudson’s (now Marshall field) Charge Card to establish credit.( They use to call then charge cards,LOL)
  12. Enrolled in school after graduating High School and had to dig deep to pay for classes. (had to sit out for 6 months because I got behind on tuition. Felt like a loser)
  13. Graduated
  14. Got a job as a field technician.
  15. Bought a more expensive vehicle (custom Chevy S10 truck, girlfriend lost her mind, called me a moron), debt, see where this is going.
  16.  Moved out from my parents, partially (My mom saved me on the groceries)
  17. Got Married
  18. Debt
  19. Children
  20. Debt
  21. Debt
  22. Divorce
  23. Fast forward at this point – no debt, now frugalish

So, I’m not sure how your life played out, but I remember one day  about 6-8 months after I graduated High school while arriving home at 4am and thinking “Shit, I HAVE to go to work in a few hours” because I had to pay for:

  • Rent
  • Car insurance
  • Various small credit cards
  • School
  • Car Payment
  • Food
  • Gas
  • and the list goes on.


In that moment at the age of 19, it hit me that I was an adult, responsible for my own being. I think it was in the fall, because the weather was turning cold and a few of my friends were still in highschool. The only thing I could think was there is NO turning back forever.

Here is the point I would like to make, we basically stumble into being adults. There is no course, seminar or step by step manual, and no one has perfected the process. One thing I do know, out of all the years I and maybe you too, were in school none of it really prepares us formally to be adults . Only by going the path of experience can we obtain the lessons to be an adult, but it sure would have been nice to have a manual, or lesson plan. Our parents give us bits a pieces of information you need to navigate, but it seems so foreign, because and they seem so OLD, and unwise to us when you are a young adults. So listen to them now, because nothing is new in the world, except electronics, and bad television.

We all say, “If I only knew then what I knew now”. Well what you know now can help you in the future, all that is required are a few downs times and recoveries back up. Don’t sweat the small stuff, because the majority is small stuff.

Here is one thing I have for everyone, myself included. As long as you stay alive, free and healthy “90% of what happened in the past will not matter when you get to the future.

So take the thing you know now to live best in THE BILLIONAIRE LIFESTYLE.


Now go live The Billionaire Lifestyle


Emmitt Muckles


photo credit: The Case of the Mysterious Suitcase via photopin (license)

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