Archives for July 2011

Your Questions About How To Budget A Household Percentages

Donna asks…

How do you divide up household expenses?

My fiance and I will be getting married soon and we’re trying to get a good budget going. I read a website that broke things down such as:

Rent/Mortgage = 30% of income
Utilities = 10% of income
Student loans = 8% of income

The thing is, the numbers didn’t add up from the website so what is a good percentage to break up each expense such as rent, utilities, food, etc.? All help is appreciated =]

richmama answers:

I developed our budget by looking at our actual costs, then looking at what I wanted to add to this (retirement, emergency fund, saving for trips) and where I might be able to trim (eating out, groceries). Any general projection is just a guideline – your actual spending is the best hard data to use.

The site below is geared more towards getting out of debt, but step 6 is a decent overview of how to build a budget.

Congratulations, btw!

Sandra asks…

Is this the proper size of Government?

The Proper Size of Government

Allow me to present a maxim you probably already know:

Liberals and conservatives disagree on the proper size of government.

Now, most people are probably inclined to agree with this, but it makes a very dangerous assumption — specifically, that government can ever be big enough for liberals.

When you debate the role of government with a liberal, it can be a lot like ordering lunch with a very hungry friend after you’ve agreed to split the check. He’s going to order a lot more than you, and he’s going to demand that you pay your “fair share.” This is probably an adequate way of rationalizing it if you need to explain why you shouldn’t split checks with friends, or why it’s important to you that your friend order from the lunch menu and skip the Bananas Foster.

But, strategically-speaking, this approach never addresses the real problem: your friend’s eating disorder.

Try this exercise: Set the way-back machine to 1975, and imagine offering the liberals a truce. Tell them you’ll draw the line at $3 Trillion in 2009 dollars if they’ll agree to draw the line there. (And don’t worry, even after adjusting for inflation that’s still bigger than the libs’ wildest dreams.)

My point is that we already have liberals’ dream government. Just a couple of days ago, the President boasted of trying to reduce government by $100,000,000, which turned out to be less than .003% (.0000286) of the budget. I heard someone describe it as equivalent to cutting back a household budget by one cup of coffee per year. It’s not that the cut was so small, but just how large the government is that it can so dwarf a hundred million dollars.

Recessions are all the more noteworthy because they are uncommon. The fact is that, over time, our economy grows consistently. And despite liberal complaints about tax cuts, federal revenue has hovered pretty steadily at around 22-23% of the GDP, IIRC. Since the government can be measured as a fixed percentage of a growing economy, there’s already no limit to how big it will get. And still, this is not enough for the libs.

Naturally, this leads to the next question: Then just how big is a big enough percentage for the libs? What percentage of the economy should the government be to be “correctly” sized?

And if you ask that question, you’re still not getting it: Such common sense does not apply here — we’re talking about a mental disorder. There is no satisfactory percentage for libs. Government does not get any fixed percentage of the economy; it cannot be limited. They want it all.

What the liberals ultimately seek is an economic hierarchy where nobody is poor, where incentives are preserved just enough to make producers want to work harder, and where all growth is funneled into raising an arbitrary poverty line that nobody sinks below. It’s a perpetual motion machine; something of a big, growing snake swallowing itself by the tail just slowly enough that it never digests one of its own vital organs. It’s not a dream — it’s a fantasy.

Fortunately for us, the Constitution is a little more rational than liberals. You can argue about the correct scope of government, but the Constitution is unambiguous about limiting the government to that scope, holding the government to its constitutional boundaries.

We need to step back. I don’t want to just hold off the libs’ expansion of government, and settle for this ever-expanding fixed-percentage Republican expansion of government. That’s based on one of their premises, and we need to reject it instead of hiding behind it. Government’s not just too big as it is, it’s already got too much momentum for our freedom to endure.

I want someone to put a rope around what government should be doing, and get a cost estimate for that. And then I want a budget that pays for that government — whatever it costs, not as some percentage of whatever we make.

And when the libs refuse to even draw that line, I don’t want to hear their excuses, and I sure as hell don’t want to hear any apologies from our side! Liberals’ problem is not that there isn’t enough government, it’s that there’s no such thing as enough government for liberals. That’s a disease, and what I want — what’s needed — is intervention. Somebody’s got to save the damned Golden Goose.

richmama answers:

I’ll go for smaller government,*

Nancy asks…

Excel formulas – 2nd marriage – how do I figure my percentage of expense?

I’m trying to set up an excel spreadsheet with a basic junior high calculations and I’m hitting a duh moment.

Situation: 2nd marriage , setting up household budget
Goal: Weighted contribution to our new fund for household expenses in relation to our salaries. I make x % of his income. I want to set up our spread sheet so that our weighted ratio figures the expense:

Need formula #1 to make the percentage calculation THEN
Need formula #2 to use formula #1 (as Formula #1 will fluctuate in time) to calculate my portion of each individual household expense

To ease with brain burn I will use round numbers.

I make $1000. a month he makes $2000.00 a month. House payment is $1200 and phone bill is 100.00. I need to know my portion of each expense.

richmama answers:

Your total salary is $3000 per month. Your salary is 1/3 the total salary, his is 2/3. Therefore, you amount of any expense would be .33 x expense amount. Or, if mortgage expense is in cell A1 and you want your portion in A2, the formula in A2 would be =A1*.33 His portion in cell A3 would be =A1*.67 (note: his is rounded up to achieve a total of 100% of the expense amount)

Ruth asks…

What is the Average Household size in the Unites States?

What is the Average Household size in the Unites States?
How many households are there in the United States?
What are the current US Government thresholds, by State, for being considered Below Poverty, Very Low Income, Low Income and Moderate Income?
How many US Households fit into each of these lower income categories? By State and by Metropolitan Area?
What portion of the US Budget goes to services and fund transfers restricted to this group of Income eligibilized people? Include administrative costs. Break out by US Budget line item down to the finest line item subcategory. In dollars and in % of total budget for each itemized line item.

How much money remains unallocated from any and every of the special pots of economic recovery funds: by source, including allocations of $1,000,000 or more where the grantee has not yet suballocated funds to a final service deliverer.

What is the smallest average land area needed to treat the average sewage effluent of an average residential household on site?

What percentage of the utilized capacity of our municipal sewage treatment plants is taken by residential use? Commercial use? Industrial use? Other use?

richmama answers:

One at a time or you will never get any answers.*

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Your Questions About Mother Daughter Bonding Quotes

George asks…

good mother daughter quotes?

i am getting a tattoo for my mom. her and i have a really special bond adn have been through a lot together, she is like my sister but still my mother figure. my tattoo is going to start on my hip and carry on up my side. i have two butterflies but i need a quote to complete it.

richmama answers:

Chance made you my (mother, daughter)
Love made you my friend

Steven asks…

I lost my 18 old daughter to suicide feb 20th of this year. She was all about tie dye and peace sign.?

I am looking for a peace sign and tie dye. Something unique , one of a kind. Just like she was. We were inseparable. I’ll know it when I see it. Maybe angel wings that surround
the peace sign. I’m still numb and know I need to do this for her spirit and soul. I would also like a quote regarding the bond between a mother and daughter. Please help

richmama answers:

Sorry that you lost your daughter. I say You make something your self. People always say that something hme made other then store brought is always better. Make something that no one has ever made with peace nd tie die. I bet that if your daughter was alive she wold love it.

Helen asks…

Romeo and Juliet Play?

Im trying to show the relationship of Nurse and Juliet in the story,
[mother daughter bond].

Does anyone know what quotes from the play would represent this?

richmama answers:

The first scene in which Juliet and the Nurse appear together is Act One, Scene Three. Then look at Act Two, Scene Four, when the Nurse is talking to Romeo about Juliet, then at Act Two, Scene Five and Act Three, Scene Two, which are scenes between the Nurse and Juliet. Those aren’t the only scenes in which the two women talk to each other, or in which the Nurse talks to other characters about Juliet, but you’ll find a lot of material in those scenes to help you make your case.

Maria asks…

A mothers quote…..?

Almost 14 years ago i lost my mother to breast cancer, I was very young then and really had no idea what was happening. Now that i realize my mother is gone and is missing such big parts of my life, i was wondering if anyone had any quotes or poems about
-A mother passinging away
-Bond between a mother and daughter
Thanks 🙂

richmama answers:

“Before you were conceived I wanted you
Before you were born I loved you
Before you were here an hour I would die for you
This is the miracle of life.”
Maureen Hawkins

“A mother holds her children’s hands for a while, their hearts forever.” Author Unknown

“A mother’s heart is always with her children.” Proverb

“Once upon a memory someone wiped away a tear,
held me close and loved me, Thank you, Mother dear.”
Author Unknown

“The death of a mother is the first sorrow wept without her” Author Unknown

“Time is the only comforter for the loss of a mother.” Jane Welsh Carlyle

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Your Questions About Apothecary Jars

Sharon asks…

What to put in Old World Apothecary Jars?

I have 3 apothecary jars, of varying sizes – ranging from 2′ to 8″ and different widths also, on a large glass and metal square coffee table. I would like to find some unusual old world items to put in them, but I’m stumped.

I’ve considered old buttons, old door knobs, old scrabble pieces, twine balls, etc. but all seem to present one challenge or another.

Any suggestions?

richmama answers:

Rock salt, sugar crystals, hard candy, marbles, dominoes, small toy metal cars, match books, tongue depressors (that’s what my doc keeps in his), bubble gum, potpourri.

Betty asks…

Where can I find Apothecary Jars?

I need to find apothecary jars that aren’t super expensive for a crafting project. Any ideas other than ebay where I might find these little treasures?

richmama answers:


Donna asks…

Any one knows where can I get glass apothecary jars with lids like this?

Any one knows where can I get apothecary jars like this in singapore or online shops that will ship to singapore?

Let me know!

richmama answers:

Lillian and vernon has a set of three for 24.98 i’m not sure if they ship to singapore or not though sorry. You could visit the website to find out.

Ruth asks…

I’m looking for unique ways to fill apothecary jars in my living room – old world style. Any suggestions?

I’m tired of seeing shells, vine balls, fish, you know – all the usual things. Help!

richmama answers:

Here are a few suggestions:
old glass or brass doorknobs
old keys
old watches
vintage linens
kewpie dolls
old baby shoes
shredded old maps

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Your Questions About Pay Off Credit Card Every Month

Steven asks…

If I pay my credit card off completely every month, then how does a credit card company make money off of me?

i’ve paid my credit card every month completely since i’ve had it. i have excellent credit. My credit card is American Express. If they know I pay it off every month then why do they keep sending me mail for new cards for being such a good customer.

Oh yeah, I don’t pay any yearly fees or anything. Do they make any money off me?

richmama answers:

Sure they make money off of you. They make money off all of their cardholders. They charge merchants that bill your credit cards certain merchant transaction fees. These fees are usually negotiable. Am Ex charges the most, it could charge a merchant who doesn’t negotiate the fee more than 4% of the transaction amount. Visa and MasterCard charge less, usually about 2-3%. They are smart, this is whay they are in business!

David asks…

is it better to pay a credit card off every month or just make payments?

I just got my first credit card and don’t know if I should pay the whole balance off every month to avoid interest, or if I should pay the minimum until its paid off.

richmama answers:

Always pay it off. Paying interest only makes everything you buy more expensive. Plus credit debt is not “good” debt, like a mortgage.

Mark asks…

If I pay every credit card off in full, can my score still be impacted negatively if I have a lot cards?

I have about 1 major credit card and about 10 from various stores I shop at. I like to open them because of the discounts but always pay EVERY card off in full every month. Is my credit still affected negatively from having too many?

richmama answers:

Yes. When you apply for a major loan, like a car or house, the lender is going to look not only at how much you currently owe, but how much credit you have available. They want to see how much you COULD owe if you maxed out all your cards.

Mary asks…

I pay my credit card balance off every month but I am still being charged interest!?

Every month I pay off my credit card and I am still being charged interest on my purchases. Is this right? I have not missed a date or anything. I have never carried a balance month to month. Now I did do a 12 month 0% balance transfer on this card but does that mean that they can charge interest on my purchases even though I pay the purchase balance off each month. Someone please help!!

richmama answers:

You’ll have to read your card agreement. It could be that the 0% is only valid of you do not make any purchases on the card. They know that you will not read the agreement and will make a purchase, nullifying the 0% interest rate agreement. And the agreement won’t be in simple, easy to understand English, but a convoluted legal passage of words.

Some cards have no grace period for purchases. Sounds like that’s the type of card you have

Cash advances (handled differently than purchases) have no grace period on any card that I know of.

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Your Questions About How To Pay Off Credit Card Debt

Linda asks…

is using a credit card consolidating company to pay off debt bad for the credit score ?

how long will this afect the credit score when using a credit card company to pay credit card debt

richmama answers:

Сredit repair workеd fine to fix my credit. They disputed and removed lots of bad items from my credit report. I used this service –

Susan asks…

How long will it take to pay off this Credit card debt?

Have $2,100.00 in credit card debt. The interest rate is 12.99%. The minimum payment is only $41.45. Make a payment of $100.00 per month. How long would it take to pay this debt off, if i continue to make $100.00 payments and not use this card ever again?

richmama answers:


Try out this website. You enter the balance, interest rate and months on top. The monthly payment is calculated on the bottom. Using this website, if you make payments of $107/month, it’ll take you 22 months to repay this debt.

Sandra asks…

Paying off Credit Card Debt with out having to pay the whole balance?

We are coming into some money and I had read a article about how you can pay off credit card debt with out having to pay the whole thing but I cant find the article with all the ‘credit card wordage’ any one have any suggestion?

richmama answers:

Are you referring to debt settlement???

In any case, I doubt if this article is the same as the one you’re referring to, but it may be discussing the same topic:

John asks…

Can anyone help give me some ideas on how to pay off credit card debt?

I owe about 25,000 in credit card debt, and the problem is I cant afford to pay no more then the minimum payment a month, due to my income. What would be the best thing to do?

richmama answers:

Minimum payments are not going to get you anywhere.

You could get a second job, sell something, or ask for help from your family.

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