Today’s tip for Amazingness:
That Dirty word: Budget
I am a firm believer in budgets. I know for some this is a dirty word, but I hope to convince you that you can embrace a budget and it can give you freedom rather than bondage.
Learning to budget is just a matter of being realistic about your spending and goals. If you drink Starbucks 5 days a week that is fine, just make a category for it. When you make a budget remember it is YOUR budget and YOU get to decide what you want it to look like.
So what exactly is a budget? A budget is a tool to help you decide how to allocate your money, examine your spending, and plan for expenses.
What does a budget do?
- Put the control of your money in your hands
- Helps you focus on your goals
- Helps determine if you can handle adding debt for a large purchase
- Helps you find areas to gain extra money
- Helps you see where your money is really going
- Helps you pay your bills on time and avoid getting into trouble
- Helps you buy extras- That special something!
- Gives you a sense of peace
- Gives you a sense of confidence
- Can decrease your stress
- Can help bring couples together in the area of spending
Years ago I took a Dave Ramsey Financial Peace University course and by following the guidelines was able to get out of debt in 4 years. When I started the program I was sure I would have debt the rest of my life. Just so you understand the situation you need to know I was a single mom of two kids making $10.00 an hour at the time. I only had $6000.00 debt, but at $10.00 an hour I could barely make ends meet. With a lot of discipline, hard work, and wise choices, and the grace of God, I was finally able to be debt free! That said, I now feel Dave Ramsey’s plan is good and great at helping you get out of debt, but it has some down sides. He encourages the use of no credit cards and a cash only system, but in today’s world most of us have to play the credit game and I recommend being wise, but still build credit. But, in the beginning try going without the cards.
Another great resource is Clark Howard who brings a balanced and wise approach to money and budgeting.
There are some great tools to help you start a budget such as Mint.com, Mvelopes, PNC Virtual Wallet as well as many others. Personally I recommend writing it out on paper. There is something about the act of writing it out each month that helps you have a good grasp of the situation and take ownership.
How do I budget? I use a simple Moleskine notebook and each month, towards the end of the month, I write out each category, the due date, and how much. Then once a week I go online to my bank and assess where we are. I use a highlighter to cross off the items that have been paid (using a highlighter allows me to still see and read the item clearly). I use PNC Virtual wallet and have virtual envelopes for things like gas, insurance etc. items I want make sure I have earmarked money for to be available when it is needed. For eating out, spending, entertainment/trips and groceries I use cash. I withdraw the money needed and divvy it up into the appropriate envelopes and beside each envelops is lined piece of paper where I mark how much and what has been used. Similar to a check register. I keep my receipts in the paper bag slots of my envelope system and compare at the end of the month. The cash categories were chosen because they are the areas we tend to overspend in and it helps us control that.
Item Amount Due
Find the system that works for you but give it a try! You can control your spending and feel free at the same time!
I use a scrapbooking technique for a way to keep our money, but you can use regular envelopes if you like.
You can make yours as fancy or simple as you like. I chose to make it fairly simple.
Amazingness is sometimes as simple as two words!
So, how’s it going towards my personal goals to amazing?
Goal two, my health and fitness: I am a little less frustrated today and trying to keep the long term goal of health in mind. While it would be nice to reach my goals over night it isn’t realistic. As long as I keep moving and of course Strip and Shake daily, and be a mindful eater I will get there!
100 Days to Amazing! You can do amazing things.
I believe you can; you believe you can too!
What the 100 Days is about:
I was at the Shaklee Global Conference August 12-16th and we were challenged to 100 Days of Amazing with the question of what could we accomplish in 100 days if we really tried? I was inspired by the challenge, both as a business builder who wants to grow my business in 100 days and as an individual! What could I do in 100 days?
My Journey to Amazing: My 100 Days to Amazing are committed to making a more successful business as a Shaklee Independent Distributor and I am also committed to 100 days to amazing health and fitness. I want to be fit for my future making sure that my health span matches my life span as closely as possible. This is my Journey.
All photography is by me. Feel free to share, but I ask that you credit the photo to my Lisa Wright Burbach. To see more of my photos visit my flickr site and Instagram listed to the right. I also have some photography on Pinterest.