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Dave Ramsey says equalized monthly utility bills can help personal budgets.

Dear Dave: I’m just starting my debt-free journey and trying to lay out a budget. What are your thoughts on budget billing for utilities?

— Ryan

Dear Ryan: I think it’s wonderful! There’s absolutely nothing wrong with it at all. For a lot of folks, especially those in your situation, it helps smooth out utility payments and make them a little more manageable.

In most budget billing scenarios, they add up your utility bill for the last 12 months and divide that total by 12 to determine a fixed billing amount for the next 12 months. It can make things so much easier when you’re first starting to live on a budget and you don’t have a lot of wiggle room where your finances are concerned.

I’m glad you’re taking steps to get control of your money, Ryan. You can do this!

— Dave

Dear Dave: I have my own small business. My annual sales are just over $100,000, and I have a couple of months in administrative and general expenses set aside. Should I have an emergency fund for my company, too? If so, how much?

— Taylor

Dear Taylor: This is a great question! I like the idea of a small business having six months of expenses set aside in an emergency fund. A financial cushion like that provides peace of mind and options. Also, it eliminates the need for borrowing money. With that kind of cash sitting around, you basically become your own line of credit.

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When it comes to personal finance, I usually recommend setting aside an emergency fund of three to six months of expenses — depending on a person’s overall financial condition. But the basic idea is the same, regardless of whether you’re talking about personal finance or the financial health of your small business.

An entrepreneur has enough to worry about on a day-to-day basis. Having a fully funded emergency fund for your business can turn a disaster into nothing more than a minor inconvenience!

— Dave