Your Questions About How To Budget

Lisa asks…

Trying to eat healthier, Please Help.?

I am 27 years old, a mother of two girls, 5’4″ and 200 lbs on a fixed budget. Yes I am overwieght according to my BMI I am obese, I want to lose weight and keep it off. So I want to start eating healthy but I have no idea on how to get started or what to look for when shopping or eating out. I work outside the home and alot of times I find myself eating out alot. I just need some guidance on how to get started and what I can and can not eat to start losing weight and being healthy.

richmama answers:

-Go for lean meats like chicken and fish
-Get a whole bunch of fruits and veggies
-Avoid processed foods and get natural foods
-Olive oil cooking spray is great for cooking eggs and chicken instead of using heavy grease*
-Nuts are a great snack but in moderation
-Don’t get chips, cookies or anything of that sort*
-Eat WHOLE GRAIN cereals and breads*
-No butter, no mayo substitue mayo on a sandwhich with mustard*
-If you want rice get brown rice and cook it in the olive oil spray I mentioned
-And for the eggs, eat egg whites and put a little of the yolk in it, because they YOLK has lot of cholerstrol
-REMEMBER: get white/lean meat no pork or red meat*
-Sustitute ranch with red whine vinager or apple cider for your salad
-JUST don’t eat JUNK always eat HEALTHY and as much fresh food as possible!

Mark asks…


i’ve tried a million times and i dont get how i should start a budget.. im thinking about everything that goes along with a wedding and i cant think of one thing at a time. where do i begin to begin a budget? do i write down everything and put how much they’re gonna cost more? after that though.. what if i cant afford it all and who’s supposed to contribute and what items do i assign to who?

richmama answers:

Your first step is to figure out how much TOTAL money you have to work with on this wedding. You can spend as little as $100, and it can go on up to over a million bucks if you’d like, so budgets are all over the place. Figure out how much you and your fiance can contribute to wedding expenses, then go to each set of parents, and find out what (if anything) they can contribute. Some parents may feel more comfortable simply writing you a check, and saying “use this for wedding expenses,” and others may feel better about paying for the catering, or the flowers, photography, etc. If either parents want to simply pay for one part of the wedding–get a total figure from them on how much they want to spend–remember, you can spend as much or as little on each aspect of the wedding as you’d like.

You don’t assign anything to anyone, you simply ask if people would like to help with your wedding expenses. And you only ask parents, maybe grandparents. However, if Uncle Bob is a great photographer, ask if he’d be willing to take the photos either as his wedding gift, or give you a discount as his wedding gift. Same if Aunt Sally is a fantastic baker, see if she’d be willing to donate a wedding cake as her gift.

Once you know the total amount of $$ you have to work with, then you can simply start assigning percentages on each part of the wedding expenses. has a great wedding budgeter worksheet that works great for this purpose.

Good luck!

Maria asks…

How come the states with the highest tax burdens also are the most broke?

Ok, I have done my own research and have found that the following states had the worst budget deficits heading into 2010……

California – D
Oklahoma – R
Arizona – R
Illinois – D
Hawaii – D
New Jersey – D
New York – D
Nevada – split
Colorado – split
Michigan – D

and the following states have the highest individual tax burden…

New Jersey
New York

So my question is why are the majority of the states that tax their residents the most in the country actually some of the states that can’t meet their budget requirements? I thought taxation was suppose to be a good thing?

richmama answers:

Massachusetts and Maryland are high tax states and their budgets aren’t too bad.

Robert asks…

what kind of computer parts and how much would it cost to make a gaming computer?

I’m wanting to make a computer for gaming… I have about 1k budget.. I want to run Starcraft 2 on Ultra quality or a bit lower… What kind of CPU, Video card, Ram, mother board etc. would i need to do this? and what parts do i need? thanks in advance!

richmama answers:

Prime Consideration

The most important part of a gaming PC is the graphics card. This will have the greatest effect on what games you’re able to play as well as the amount of detail that each game will display. Look for systems with a graphics card manufactured under the NVIDIA GeForce series or the ATI Radeon series. These two series of cards have the highest rate of compatibility with gaming software.


After the graphics card, the processor is the next most important component of a gaming computer. The processor functions as the taskmaster of the system and delivers instructions to all the other parts. The faster the processor, the more tasks it can handle at a given time. Often with a slower processor, games crash or stall when other programs are running in the background such as email or web browsers. Using at least a 2.0 GHz processor will keep your system running smoothly during game play.


Any current generation gaming software requires at least 1 gigabyte of RAM (Random Access Memory) to run properly. The higher the RAM, the smoother your games will function. While the minimum requirement is 1 gigabyte, gamers will want to begin with 2 gigs to be ready for upcoming games.


Games take up a great deal of space on a hard drive. This is why a gaming PC should include at least a 150 GB hard drive. When deciding on a hard drive, take into account the amount of games the computer will be used for. A gamer looking for a computer to run only World of Warcraft will require less space on a hard drive than someone looking to try new games every week.


The most important factor to take into account when purchasing or building a gaming computer is how it will be used. Gamers looking to partake in massive battles in the latest first-person shooter will want a higher-end computer than someone looking to explore the world of The Sims. A tip when purchasing a gaming computer is to print out a list of system requirements for the game you’re yearning to play. Make sure the computer meets or exceeds these requirements, and you’ll have no trouble with your new computer.

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