Hello, fellow smart money people! We are so glad you are here!!
Bill and I have changed our lives over the last 10 years. We wanted to have freedom in our lives and control over our money. We needed to get things under control. Do you ever feel that way?
We didn’t know it at the time, but we embarked on a financial journey that would change our lives. We began to learn, study, practice and fight our way through to get where we are today. One of the practices we got clear on very quickly that I’d like to talk to you about today is the practice of BUDGETING!! Not a swear word- I swear ~ wink-wink!! Budgeting is telling your money where to go and what to do. It is a simple way of controlling your outcome. I know it may feel like it is hard to do this, I promise it is wonderful to know what you have, where it goes and what you have to spend.
So, think of it as a spending plan vs. a budget. Spending plan sounds like a lot more fun. Let’s begin!!
- Know your income and know your goals. Knowing your income is what comes into your checking account or via paycheck. Knowing what comes in is the top line in your budget. Everything else is subtracted from your paycheck. Next – know what you wish to achieve for you, your family and your life. This means knowing what you want for your life ~ nice vacations, a comfortable home, college savings, retirement? Anything you wish for you and your family.
- Know your fixed expenses. These are expenses like mortgage, rent, or car payments for example. Payments that don’t change month to month.
- Know your variable expenses. These are expenses like eating out, groceries, clothes, personal care (i.e.: haircuts), utilities. Payments that change month to month.
- Track your expenses. Every month things change. Track what you spend a month over month or paycheck to paycheck. This may be hard at first but after several reviews, it will get easier as you will see patterns or consistencies in your spending or payments.
- Evaluate and make changes. So here, again, comes the hard part, where you see inconsistency or extra expenses that can be cut ~ do something about it. In the long run when you know what your ultimate goals are you can make the changes today to trim back when a service is not helping you get to your desired outcome.
I know I am making it sound super simple. It is on the practical level; however, it is hard on the emotional level. We all have stories when it comes to money. That is what makes it hard. What money “means” to us. We will cover all of that in posts to come. Stay tuned!! YOU CAN DO IT!!!
Karen & Bill