That Hubby of mine is at it again.
Here is a post written by that green eyed man of mine :)
In the course of living our lives, rebooting our finances, happens to be a recurring theme. Often times we think we have set our budget and we have done our part. This type of thinking often leads to our additional phrases of "what happened", "I didn't know we were spending that much", and my absolute favorite "So that's where all the money went". The following four steps will lead you to a better fiscal foundation. The thought,"It will take reward without effort", is a lie. There is no quick fix for the problems we face in life. It takes effort and a change in habits and behaviors. So now we just have to get started, take a deep breath, and count to four. Let's get ready for a new change and a better tomorrow. You can do it!
1) Talk about your finances:
This is where the reality starts to dawn on most of us. We take a hard look at what comes in and how it goes out. Take stock of what income you have. Next, lay out all of your bills you pay each month. Last, get a handle on other expenditures you make. We all must do this. No one is immune.
2) Set a budget
Now that you have an understanding of what comes in during the month, you as an individual, couple, or family need to decide where you draw the line and how deep. This is a personal choice based upon how much debt is owed and the lifestyle you have become accustomed. A lot of people are afraid to make changes for various reasons. I know as people, we can change. The hard part is getting started. Now if you want to have a surplus at the end of the month, pay down your debt and eliminate wants that your situation can stand. This becomes different for all of us; hence, why we talk and then set a budget. Communication is key folks! If you are not communicating, then you're not on the same page. Being on the same page is essential to setting a budget and following it through.
3) Decide what is a need and a want:
So how do we decide a need or a want? I am of the opinion that if it is functional and helps to keep us alive than it is a need. An example of a need is food, water, shelter. My wife feels the same way, but also wants to have a bit of beauty and creativity. The most important thing you can do is listen to each other. I tend to ask a lot of questions about why we need certain things. I love to discuss and debate. The most important thing I have learned is to listen and make mental notes or actual notes to discuss after whoever is talking has finished their side of the conversation. It is amazing how much better life goes when we listen..... really listen to what is being said. As a family, couple, or individual decide what your needs are and how you can meet them.
4) Stay away from debt:
I am a big advocate for staying away from debt like a plague. I know most people feel having debt is a necessary evil in this day and age. I would only agree if it falls into two categories: housing or education. That being said, we usually overpay for both of these. Figure out how much of your money goes to housing each month. I would urge caution here. Do not get more just because you can. Get a home that fits your needs and a few wants. This is critical in making sure your budget does not implode on its self. Debt is an uncaring master and will follow you every place you go. I urge you to lighten that load and be able to invest and save for the future.You don't want to end up having your finances stretched, leaving you a paycheck from disaster.
After a while you will find you will have a surplus. Use part of that for an emergency fund for unexpected bills that always happen in life. Objects and people break. This is a common part of life. It helps to gradually build a reserve to use in an emergency, a little here and there will surprise you as it grows over time.
Following these simple steps, will allow your family to live within their means and become a happier, more loving family. In the words of Danielle, "We can all create beautiful on less". The same goes for our finances.
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