Do you know how to handle your money?
Does this sound like you?
- You believe paying off your student loans will never happen before you die.
- You dream about vacations but never seem to have the money to go.
- You’ve had a car payment as long as you can remember.
- You want to be able to save money but don’t know how to go about doing it.
- You try to stop using credit cards, but things just keep coming up.
- There never seems to be any money left over at the end of the month.
- You don’t worry about saving money and just put everything on credit cards and then stress about paying for them later.
Are you ready for things to be different?
Ready to change how you live now so you can live a better life in the future?
You can learn to handle your money. I promise.
Okay, I will tell you the secret to fixing your financial worries. The thing that changes people’s lives all the time and has the ability to to give you more money without getting another job.
It’s a budget.
Did I just hear a collective groan from everyone reading this?
If you do not follow a budget you are wasting money.
I guarantee it. Money that could fund that trip you would love to take, pay off debt or make a down payment on a house. Whatever your financial goals are, you’ll need a budget to achieve them.
Setting up and following a budget can be a game changer for your life.
It was for me.
Let’s get some things out in the open. I’m a single mom with two kids and have never made more than $70,000 a year, usually much, much less. I’m a social worker and that’s the way it’s been. Sad, but true.
- I’ve been debt free except my house for eight years.
- I’ve paid cash for the last three cars I’ve bought.
- I don’t have credit card debt.
- I don’t have student loans, although I have a master’s degree.
- I take my kids on a vacation every year for at least a week, usually longer.
- Both my kids have college savings accounts.
I’m not sharing these things to brag. I’m sharing to simply say, “If I can do this, so can you.”
How can you do this?
People often ask me how I afford to pay cash for large purchases, like cars. The idea of paying cash for a car is unimaginable to many people. They are surprised when I mention I don’t pay for our yearly vacations with credit cards and I don’t have student loans.
The budget system I’ve used to be able to do these things is something you can do also. It’s worked for me. Maybe it will work for you too. I’m going to start teaching you how and I’ll be happy to help you if I can.
Not only will you be able to pay your bills but you will have money available when your car tags and taxes are due or the washing machine breaks down or or some other unexpected, yet inevitable event occurs.
Every time you’re able to pay cash for those events you won’t have to put them on a credit card.
You know that’s a good thing, right?
Credit cards can get out of hand quickly if you are not in control of your money. If you are, then using credit cards at times, is okay. The key is you have to be in control first and if you don’t have a budget, you’re not.
When you create a budget you are taking the first step to gaining control and managing your money.
A budget is not just an an abstract idea of how much you should spend on things, either. I’m talking about an actual written budget that you look at, follow and adjust as necessary every time you pay your bills at a minimum. Even if you have plenty of money a budget is still important.
It’s time to take charge of your money and tell it exactly where to go.
I’m going to walk you through the process.
First, you have to spend all your money.
Wait. . . What??
That’s right. You are going to spend all of your money. . . on paper, in your budget. This is called zero sum budgeting.
You are going to assign each dollar you earn a job. Some will pay bills, some may go to savings, but every dollar will have a job. Because when they don’t, they tend to disappear.
How often have you went through the month buying groceries, household items, some clothes, and going out to eat and then the last week of the month you get the cable bill or some other bill and you don’t have enough left in your bank account?
You did nothing wrong. You didn’t blow money on anything big, you were just buying groceries and things you needed. You have to eat, right?? It’s not your fault you don’t have any money left at the end of the month!
Well. . . yes, it is.
Why zero sum budgets work
You overspent because you had money in your account, so you spent it. You didn’t have a job for every dollar assigned, so you forgot about the bills that arrive later in the month and spent that money on other things. With a zero sum budget this won’t happen. Expenses will be subtracted from income as soon as you get paid so you won’t spend money you really don’t have. Your bills will be taken care of, you will have money to eat and you will not be stressed. When unexpected expenses come up, you will be more prepared because you have been setting money aside for just such an event.
Sounds nice, doesn’t it?
In the upcoming posts I am going to walk you through the steps to get a handle on your money and stop stressing.
In Part Two, “Manage Your Money Better, Set Up a Budget!” you will take a look at your spending habits, the types of expenses you have and identify categories for your spending.
Then you can get started taking control of your money and your life.
Right now, I want you to think about what you would do if you had money left over at the end of the month. You need some motivation! Pick your top three to five things and leave me a comment to tell me. I can’t wait to hear what they are!
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