Find out what the experts are saying about the BudgetMap personal budgeting system. Read reviews of the popular "take it with you" budgeting system. The amazing budgetmap system gets the thumbs up from budget and finance experts.
Mary Hunt is creator and editor of Cheapskate Monthly, a monthly newsletter dedicated to helping people find practical and realistic solutions for their financial problems.
Mary has recently joined the editorial teams of the Dayton Daily News, the Orange County Register and the Colorado Springs Gazette Telegraph newspapers as a weekly columnist and appears regularly in Good Morning America, Extra and Single Parent Family Magazine (published by Focus on the Family). Mary has also appeared on national television and radio shows such as Good Morning America, Focus on the Family, The Oprah Winfrey Show, The 700 Club, and The Phil Donahue Show, among others.
Mary Hunt's BudgetMap Review
Product Review By Mary Hunt Cheapskate Monthly - May 2000 issue
The Schara BudgetMap
Some time ago subscribers Roger and Cathy Hendricks of Washington, wrote asking if I'd ever heard of something called the Schara BudgetMap. If so, they asked, what did I think about it?
I hadn't, but figured I should so I contacted the owner of the company, Bill Schara. Within days a box labeled BudgetMap was sitting on my desk.
I pulled out the workbook that came in the box because it looked like the owner's manual and a logical place to start. As I scanned the manual I felt my chest tightening and my heart pounding -- not unlike the way I felt when I hyperventilated during childbirth. This looked a lot like upper division Accounting -- an area of study that quite frankly makes me crazy. I put everything back into the box and promised myself I'd try again once I recovered.
Some weeks later I did get back to it, but this time skipped the workbook and went straight to the product.
Let me interject at this point -- and please Mr. Schara do not take this personally -- I am not fond of the word budget. Thankfully, I have learned, BudgetMap is not a budget in the traditional sense of the word. It is not a financial straightjacket or someone else's restrictive money diet.
The Schara BudgetMap is a simple management tool designed to replace the register part of your checkbook. In fact, it looks just like a checkbook register. The simple instructions inside the register prompted me to say right out loud: Why didn't I think of this?
Each page in the register folds out to reveal 12 neat and tidy columns with space to fill in the spending categories you choose. The BudgetMap register looks like an ordinary checkbook register but it is so unique, it has received a U.S. patent. Specially folded pages open up to "map" out the way you have decided to spend the money in your checking account.
Let's say your paycheck is for $1500. You enter that as a deposit on the left side just as you would in a regular checkbook register. But with BudgetMap there's another step. You fill in the columns on the right to .........Read the rest of Mary Hunt's BudgetMap Review Visit BudgetMap's "Product Reviews" Link or visit "How it Works" Link to take the 5 Step BudgetMap Tutorial!
The HomeSchool Mom's BudgetMap Review
BudgetMap-Product Review -By Mary Ann Kelley TheHomeSchoolMom
About six months ago, I noticed an ad for the BudgetMap System in an e-mail newsletter that I subscribe to. I have tried just about every budget system there is, including huge notebooks and software programs. One look at the BudgetMap and I ordered the system. I knew that it would replace all of the other budgets I had tried. It can easily be used on its own or in conjunction with popular financial software programs.
The BudgetMap Workbook (included free with the registers) is helpful to anyone new to financial planning, but the BudgetMap register itself is so simple to use that reading the workbook is not necessary to get started.
BudgetMap, created by an accountant, has an ingenious design which allows the register to fit into a checkbook just like a normal checkbook register. It also includes a master column to list checks and deposits just like a normal checkbook register, but that is where the similarity ends. The BudgetMap register folds out to display twelve category columns. It is simple to use:
Divide each of your monthly expenses into categories and determine a monthly allowance for each category (the monthly allowance must equal your income).
On payday, enter the deposit in the checkbook register column, then break it down into the allowance amounts for each expense category on your list.
As you write checks, treat them the same way you list deposits, with the check deducted from the checkbook register column and the applicable expense category. The sum of your category columns should always match the balance in the checkbook register column.
With BudgetMap, you have instant access to the amount you have to spend in any given category. You do not have to wait until you update your financial software data to find out how much you have spent, and you do not have to hurry home to check your spending before making a purchase. The information is all at your fingertips and fits into your checkbook.
If you already use a budget system, you can just transfer the monthly budget amounts to the columns in the BudgetMap register. If you have never used a budget before, BudgetMap is a great way to get control of your finances.
You can evaluate your spending pattern...... Read the entire HomeSchoolMom Review (Click on "Product Reviews" link) or visit the "How it Works" link to take the 5 Step BudgetMap Tutorial!
Journal of Business Review
Helping Impulse Shoppers Resist -By Linn Parish Journal of Business, Volume 15 Issue 16
William Schara doesn't merely crunch numbers for a living. He'll help you crunch your personal budget numbers, too, so you'll know precisely when you've blown your entertainment budget or need to hold off on a clothing purchase.
The Spokane mining executive and certified public accountant has patented a household budgeting booklet, called a Schara BudgetMap, that replaces a conventional check register inside a checkbook.
The budgeting tool allows an individual or a family to track spending by budget category and determine-with a glance at the BudgetMap-whether it has the money to meet a certain expense.
Figuring out what to do on a Friday night? Review the BudgetMap to see if you have enough money in your entertainment budget for dinner and a movie-or if you'd better stay home and watch TV. Thinking of buying a new lamp for the living room? Check out the home-goods category in the booklet before heading to the checkout stand at the furniture store.
"A lot of people are trying to get out of debt," says Schara, who sells the booklets through a home-based business called Schara Co. "What they don't have is a simple tool to help them do that. As you can see, this is not rocket science."
Schara, who works full time as vice president of finance for Yamana Resources Inc., of Spokane, says that sales of the BudgetMap have picked up recently, thanks to Internet marketing that he began late last year. He sold a total of about 500 kits that contain the budgeting booklets via the Internet in May and June.
In the five years before he began offering the product on a Web site, he sold a total of just 350 kits.
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He's run into his own budget glitch, however. Recent sales have exceeded what he had projected for the BudgetMap, and his small enterprise's inventory of the product now is nearly depleted, he says.
"I had to pull some advertisements, because I can't keep up with the orders," Schara says.
Schara expects to replenish his supply of the BudgetMap early next month. Each kit retails for $16 and includes instructions and three of the booklets, typically enough for about a year.
The product receives a ringing endorsement from LeeAnn Bonds, a Priest River, Idaho, homemaker with a family of four who bought one of the kits about three years ago at the annual Christian Workers Conference, in Spokane.
"It's been the difference between control and chaos," she says of the BudgetMap. By using the tool, her family has been able to do a better job of preparing itself for major periodic expenses, such as property tax and insurance bills, Bonds says. In addition, she says, her family's improved budgeting practices have made it possible to earmark funds for a home-remodeling project that's under way. She says the family has been able to pay for the project without taking out a loan.
"It's the best thing that ever has happened in my financial life," says Bonds, who bought the BudgetMap at first because it was easier to use than other household budgeting tools she'd tried. Also, it fit in her checkbook, and she didn't have to carry it around separately. The budgeting booklet looks similar to a conventional check register, but each page folds out to provide additional space. Along with the usual columns for recording the number, date, and description of each check and entering the check amount and updating the account balance, the BudgetMap has 12 columns for tracking the balances of amounts set aside for different purposes in a household budget.
At the top of each of those 12 columns, a user labels the expense category, such as for housing, car, food, entertainment, or other expenses, and enters in each column an amount that's budgeted for that category. After buying something or paying a bill, the user subtracts the amount from both......Read the entire Linn Parish Review (Click on the "Product Reviews" link) or visit the "How it Works" link to take the 5 Step BudgetMap Tutorial!