Lets face it… we all need a budget. Actually I believe we All have one in place already. Some examples are, but not limited to:
- A simple excel spreadsheet. (what I use)
- A budget software
- A checkbook register (if theres a positive balance I’m good kinda budget is how I used this one lol)
- A budget notebook, homemade or purchased
- A cash system (some use envelopes for different categories)
- Or an all time favorite for some: I REALLY DON’T WANNA KNOW budget. The kind where you ignore your finances all together.
Some excuses for not having a formal budget are
‘So what’s the big deal? I’m a free spirit, I don’t like dealing with my money’
or ‘Budgets are too restrictive’
or ‘I don’t want some program/piece of paper telling me what to do with it!’
Not dealing with your finances can lead to loads of troubles. From the power getting turned off or having so many ‘payments’ you can’t pay them all. Budgets are not restrictive. It’s quite the opposite….. it’s freedom. A budget will help you lead a more simple life. A life with less stress, less worry and less restrictions.
I think I’ve tried most all types budgets. Fact is I love to make budgets with any format. I’ll rewrite mine, plug it in to software, research other blogs/websites/books. Then I end up going back to ole faithful, my spreadsheet. It’s then I realize, there is no one magic budget that fits everyone. What ever you do, which ever you choose don’t go for number 6! Be real with yourself. Sit down and write out all that you owe and to who. Look at your income vs outgoing. If there’s not enough left to go around, be ready to make some tough decisions. You may have to let go of a few things….
I’ll never forget having to turn off my home phone. This was back several years ago when things for us were very difficult. It was yet another thing we had to give up to survive. A guy I worked with needed everyone’s phone numbers as a ‘just in case’. When I only gave him my *cell he asked for the home phone. When I told him I had to cut it off, he looked at me with pity. I felt horrible. I felt weak and unable to provide. Looking back now I see it was really me standing strong, not being weak. Now I only know a few people who still have a land line phone. I was just ahead of my time =)
Next in this series we’ll look at different kinds of budgets and how they work….
Find that post here How To Budget Part 1
*At this time I was commuting almost 2 hrs daily for work. Having a cell phone was not optional.