Monday, August 15, 2016

Budgetings 101

A lot of people have asked me about budgeting and to provide a basic outline of how to get started.  Through Periscope (you can find me at Periscope.TV/Stacycreditsavvydiva)  I spent a week educating people on the do's and don'ts of budgeting.  In some ways this is material that takes a lot more than a week to really delve into but I decided to post this information on my blog for those of you who have no idea where to even begin.

So Day 1, let's get started. 

These are the basic questions you have to answer when it comes to budgeting.:
Who needs one?  
Why have a budget?
What's the point?
What needs to be on there?
What doesn't need to be on there?
Why is it important to have a budget?
Do you really have to have a budget?

There are a lot of reasons to have a budget.  You want to pay off debt, save more money, put money aside for a trip or a present for someone, need to pay for a project or just in general need to figure out where your cash is going every month.  The reasons for starting a budget are varied but it is an important step to financial freedom.  The fact is not many people have a budget or know how to stick to one. 

Dave Ramsey believes that having a budget puts you more in control of your finances, and I have to agree with him.  He says that you have to tell your money where to go instead of allowing money to have all the power.  And it’s true.  You must have a plan, a written plan, that you follow that puts your money where you want it to go or where it must go so that later in the future you are not wondering what happened to it.  

You have to have a system.  You have to have a way of keeping track of your finances, daily, weekly, monthly.  You need to have a way of keeping track of all that.  
My husband and I are really good at the whole paper part of a budget, but honestly, when it actually comes to adhering to the budget… well, that’s another story.  The truth is, a budget (a written plan) is nothing more than that unless you are going to implement that plan and moving forward make sure you do this on a regular basis.  If you get paid weekly, biweekly, bimonthly or monthly YOU must have a plan and you must stick with it.  

A budget tells us what we can’t afford, but it doesn’t keep us from buying it - Robert Fulghum

So here’s the deal, this week we are going to talk about budgeting, about goals, about priorities, about expenses and making the commitment and the steps to creating a successful budget, but I want to be honest with you right here - if you have no intention of actually following through on a budget then really you are only hurting yourself in the long term. 

One of the things I really want to talk about starting next week is debt management and how to get your spending under control.  I almost feel as though that is a better starting place than budgeting 101, but I wanted to give you what was asked  for you so you’d know I’m listening and I do hear you.  So tomorrow we are going to talk about goals verses priorities and why this is important when creating a budget.  

Remember: if you aren’t willing to implement and follow through on it, a written plan or budget will only get you so far.  It will help you to be more aware but it won’t actually do anything for you.  

Budgeting worksheet and resource links:

These links are all to different styles of budgeting worksheets.  My husband and I use a spreadsheet that we’ve set up with all our expenses.  I personally really like Dave Ramsey’s worksheet but I also like budgets that are simple and easy to read so if I were single and didn’t have a huge amount of expenses I would use the simply because it is an easy to use format.  If you have any questions please let me know in the comments OR head over to my Facebook group Credit Savvy Diva and I’ll be happy to answer them.

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