Friday, March 25, 2011

Simplifying Finances

I love reading articles about finances. For a while it was b/c I was trying to get started and figure my way through everything but NOW I read the articles b/c they help keep me on track! It's a good feeling to read an article and think "Duh" after you read it. :) That means you know your stuff.

I read an article today while I was at the library. I don't remember which magazine so I can't quote it word for word. So here's my rendition of what I read. :)

1. Create a budget
2. Set a date of the week/month to pay bills, balance your book.
3. Make payments a Quick event so you don't dread it (online, billpay)
4. GET READY FOR THE ROADBLOCKS! (tire blows out, insurance dedcutible, emergencies in general)
5. Keep your goal in mind at all times!

START SMALL SAVINGS! A lot of people freak out when they think about saving. I have said this before... "How can I put money back when theres none extra?" have to MAKE there be extra. It takes time to get finances in order. It takes time to get to the point of putting lots of money back in savings. Put back $5  HAVE $5 bucks. But keep in mind that it took me about 8 months from the moment I said I want to start saving BIG before I could actually do it. I had other stuff to get in order in the mean time. I wanted to get current on all my bills. (Yes, there was a time when I was behind). I wanted to get my budget figured out. Decide where to cut back, what I could live without... it DOES take time. So start small and know that it DOES make a difference.

This is silly, but this works for me. EVERY MONTH I pay my bills first (some would say save first-I say pay bills first) and whatever is left over after i pay bills, put money aside for food, etc, I automatically transfer to savings. There are times its a nice amount, and there that I honestly laugh when I am balancing my savings book b/c it will read "Transfer .16 cents." Or "Transfer $4.87." Well... at least I put something back. So try it. That way you don't have to THINK about it.

Biggest thing is to keep the goal in mind. I know what my goals are. Wanna hear em?

1. Have 3 months worth of living expenses in savings.
2. ONLY USE CASH. (I claim the debit card to be cash at times)
3. Spend under $150 every month on food, toiletries, and anything in between. If it can be bought at Kroger or Walgreens--it falls in this category :)

I don't have any CRAZY dreams. I'm not there yet... but i'm getting there. Be realistic but be PERSISTENT.

WHAT ABOUT YOU? Any goals? How are you doing on this journey so far?

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