Plan Plan Plan....and stick to it.

Document created by rebecca2002 on May 17, 2016Last modified by amara.mastronardi@socialedgeconsulting.com on Dec 5, 2016
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Building a budget and planning to stick to it is a lot easier than actually sticking to it.  Often budgeting goes two directions....far too detailed to be workable, or so broad that money filters in and out like a leaky boat.

 

Plan to be reasonable with your budget.  Track what you spend on necessities and what you spend on luxuries.  Just so we are clear on what is a necessity.  Housing, food, electricity, phone, reasonable transportation, clothing, savings. Luxury is everything outside of a necessity, brand new furniture, the latest phone, gaming systems,  recreational activities.   Once you have an idea of how much you spend on the necessary items you can plan how best to meet those needs.  For me I opened a dedicated checking account where all necessary recurring bills are auto debited.  I recommend this for bills that have a set amount each month, I also recommend padding this account with a few extra bucks every pay period just in case you need buffer room.  The remainder of each paycheck can then be split between a savings account and another checking account.  This allows you some flexibility in how much is saved and how much you budget for other purposes. Do not touch the savings account, but feel free to use the remainder for anything that you need.  Notice I said Need not want.

 

Plan to be realistic with your money.  Don't sock away 60% of your remaining money after paying bills in savings and then find yourself trying to make a pack of ramen noodles and 2 eggs feed you until your next payday.  You will just end up justifying your reasons for pilfering your savings.  If you need to save less so you can buy enough groceries, or pay for gas, or buy a fancy pants coffee drink once a week do it.  Just be realistic about it.

 

Plan for the future.  I know I've already said to put money in savings, but I'm going to say it again.  Open a savings account, set a reasonable realistic goal for how much money you want to have in that savings account at the end of the year.  If doesn't matter if it's $100 or $1000.  Think of your savings goal as a gift for your future. 

 

Plan to fail, and then succeed.   I know that might sound odd, plan to fail.  Being Money smart isn't easy, especially if you're new to juggling bills, and rent, and budgets.  It's ok to fail, just think of the failure as an opportunity to learn how to succeed next time.

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