Do you feel stressed when it comes to money? Do you wonder each month if you are going to be able to pay all the bills? Do you have a credit card balance…or several credit card balances? Do you have a savings account balance and is it being depleted? Keep reading this blog if you answered yes to any of these questions. There is an easier way if you are willing to put in the time to learn and adjust.
The answer to your financial problems may be to prepare a monthly budget. I can hear you now….WHAT???? HOW DO I DO THAT? I had the same concerns when I started. I thought about how unpredictable life can be. How can you prepare a budget for life’s uncertainties? Well, it is possible.
Preparing a budget just takes a little time at first to figure your money out. You have to decide that you are going to tell your money what to do; not figure out later how to pay for what you purchased. You can thank Dave Ramsey for that concept. I remember when I first heard that, a huge lightbulb went on in my mind! He also believes in the idea of saving for a purchase before the purchase happens. Well, that’s a novel idea…DING, DING, DING!!!
So, let’s go back to basics. Do you know how much money you earn? And if you don’t, do you have a minimum amount you know you earn each month? Figure this out before you go any further. And I mean, what is your take home pay?
Next, write down your “regular” monthly bills. These are the bills that happen every month, no matter what (ex. grocery budget, electric bill, water bill). Then, write down the bills that happen annually, biannually or just once in a while.
The last thing to do is write down the things you would like to pay off (ex. credit card balance, auto payment) and the things you would like to save for (ex. car purchase, roof repair, vacation, emergencies). Believe it or not, these things can be in your budget also. It’s called planning ahead for life’s uncertainties.
Now, based on what your monthly take home pay and what all these bills and things to save for, you get to decide how much of your money goes to each item. Really, I am giving you the “power” to tell your money what to do. If you allow $500 for groceries, then only spend $500 or less. Get an envelope and put $500 cash in it to buy groceries with. If you saved $800 for a new refrigerator, then only buy a refrigerator for $800 or less…otherwise, wait until you save what you need.
One of the biggest downfalls of a budget is impulse buying. I try to walk away and think about the item. If I really want or need it, I can come back when I saved for it. If it’s a must purchase like a car repair, then that’s what the emergency fund is for. But buying that new top of the line cell phone because your friend has it, is just not in the plan now. You have to plan for it and decide if it’s truly worth all that money. Often times, the answer may be NO!!!
Feel free to call Rediscovered Moments Concierge when you are ready to take control of your money. We have many tips and forms that may make getting started a little easier. Remember, we are here to help you walk through life a little less stressed.