Standing in the check-out line at the supermarket I always note that two of the articles that are almost uniformly highlighted in all the women’s magazines (besides new recipes) relate to weight or money. Regardless of how many articles and books are written on managing your money, it inevitably comes down to these simple steps.
- Spend less than you take in.
- Pay off debts.
- Have money available for an emergency .
- Save for the future.
You can find information on budgeting and record keeping programs in books, online, apps and handouts from workshops. They will all tell you to do the same thing:
- List all your income (earnings, investments, child support, etc.).
- List all your routine expenses (utilities, rent/mortgage, transportation, clothes, food, personal care, gifts, medications, entertainment/recreation, etc).
- List all of your recurring annual expenses (taxes, insurance, vehicle registration, certifications and memberships, tuition and school related expenses, conferences, magazine renewals, holiday rituals, etc.)
- List all your debts (mortgage, car payments, student loans, credit cards, other loans, etc.)
- Determine how much you need weekly, monthly and annually to pay your bills, meet your needs, have an emergency fund and save for the future.
If your expenses exceed your income, you only have two choices within your control: spend less or earn more.
Creating a budget, spending plan, family bookkeeping system or a financial plan—is not difficult, just time consuming at the beginning. The challenge is getting motivated to do it and being persistent in making it work. You can be motivated and persistent if it is your priority! Keep it simple and do it!
Money Saving Tip
- Are you generally more successful if you use an online program, talk with a professional, read a book, take a class, work on your own or with a friend or partner?
- Do you learn better doing one small thing at a time or do you want the whole plan in place before you start?
Becoming knowledgeable about your money gives you control and power. It’s time to take it!
What made you smile today?
What made you proud of your money choices today?