Thursday, 16 April 2015

Budgeting and Forecasting is Key

This may be a no-brainer but sometimes the basics need to be mentioned now and again. In order to achieve any sort of financial success you need to be able to budget and stick to that budget. This much we already know and most of us can budget and stick to it. The hidden key is, the next time you sit down and budget, to ask yourself “is this a budget to survive or thrive?” 

We can all hunker down, cut back and muddle through a tough financial spell, but sometimes those “tough financial spells” can stretch out to months and years. That is when you need to plan your way out of it. 

Remember, to improve your financial situation you can do one of three things: 

1. Maintain the Status-Quo and hope things will improve
2. Increase your income
3. Decrease your expenses

After you hash about getting that second, part-time job, and /or trim what you can there is still more you can do.That is when you need to sit down and look at the items in your budget that you had previously considered untouchable, uncutable, and trim them down to size. It is with that extra money you find that you can improve your situation, and move your budget from one to just survive, to one which will help you thrive!

For me, I use an Excel spreadsheet to plan out what I will do with each and every payday. What I have added is an element which not only helps me determine what I need to spend on what, but how I am getting ahead financially. I have added spots to show how much I am spending on my debts, how much on everyday expenses and how much I am saving. 

The idea is that I as I roll along, my expenses will stay the same but I will spend less on my debts and more on my savings. Then I can see and plan for a better financial future, for myself. Message me if you want a copy of this for your own financial planning, and I will send it to you.

For me, it is important to see that I am getting somewhere, that each day is truly a step forward. I do get discouraged and now and again those feelings of “I will never get out from under this debt” or other such feelings of despair return. I need to keep focused on more than just my goal of debt freedom.  I also need to focus on the steps that I can take here and now, today, during this payday, to move myself forward from here, to my goal. 

I had wanted to go camping this weekend but it looks to be a bit chilly this weekend, so I won’t. I had planned to spend most of it outside looking through all of my bins and boxes under Wanda or in Trea. Since I want to take my time and enjoy the process of pairing down and compacting, paying to do this when it is chilly, seems silly (pun intended). I will see how things look and how I feel next weekend, and go from there.  

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