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- QUIZ – What Animal Do Your Money Habits Mimic?
Do You Have The Right Budget Ingredients?
According to dictionary.com, the definition of budget is as follows:
- an estimate, often itemized, of expected income and expense for a given period in the future.
- a plan of operations based on such an estimate.
- an itemized allotment of funds, time, etc., for a given period.
I come across the mentality quite frequently that you can’t have fun or be carefree on a budget. That if you have and follow a budget that life will be serious, and you’ll never be able to do anything fun. I would say the total opposite is true. Having and maintaining a budget allows you to have a stress-free life. Now setting up a budget and working out the kinks can be stressful and not fun. Once you get to the other side it is quite freeing.
When I recommend setting up a budget I want to know where all my money has gone for the last 30 days every penny. Now I understand that some people don’t want to do this and that’s fine you have other alternatives, but I’ll explain where some instances you will have to track everything.
If you don’t create a budget with amounts for your various categories like utilities, groceries etc. you’ll need to budget by percentages. For example
- 10%- Long-Term Savings
- 10%- Play
- 70%- Necessities
- 10%- Short-Term Savings
Majority of Americans spend 1/3 of their income servicing their debt where money is applied to interest and fees not towards principle. Once you consider how much is taken out in taxes as well it’s easy to see why those percentages can be difficult to get to. Which is why this next part is key.
Once you know where you want to go then you can set a plan to get there. If you don’t have a goal, you’ll hit it with amazing accuracy. Meaning that nothing improves on its own without help. Plants grow with the sun, water, and good soil. You need ingredients to help your finances grow as well. Here are 4 that I consider crucial.
- Goal- Set a monthly goal, 6 months, a year, 5 years. Where do you see yourself? Do you want a new house? To pay cash for a car? How will you get there?
- Community- AA is one of the best examples of why the community is so important. The association is key to the success of a recovering alcoholic. They must be around others who understand the struggle and have either been there or are still there fighting through the temptations that arise. This is no different to change your finances you need to have encouragement from others who have been down this road or are still on the road to where they want to be.
- Communication- If you have a spouse or significant other this is pretty much a must. Many marriages fail over finances particularly the lack thereof. If your partner isn’t on board with what you have envisioned with your finances, make sure that they have “blow money”. Money that they can do whatever they like with without having to answer for it. Even if your spouse is on board it is recommended that each of you get “blow money”. It helps through the process of getting where you want to be.
- Spend less than you make. This seems like it would be common sense and there is an old Saturday Night Live skit I’ve seen that pokes at this. However, it is not done by a lot of people. How frequently do we put things on a credit card or must wait till next payday to make a payment? Way too frequently. Unfortunately, those credit cards often have high balances from purchases that aren’t even relevant to our lives anymore. You must stop spending 110%, 125% or whatever number you come up with of your income. Ideally, we want to get to 50-70% or less! That way when disaster strikes your prepared but that’s a whole other issue.
YOUR ACTION STEP FOR TODAY – Choose at least one ingredient and start implementing it today, then I would love for you to connect with me on social media. I want to hear what you are going to start working on and if this has helped you.
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