Ball ‘til you fall!! Ball out until you lose control!! Ball out until you fall out!! I think NOT! Spending all that you have, and even what you don’t, is leading you towards a financial disaster and preventing you from financial freedom.
The panic that sets into your stomach when you see the bill for an unexpected car repair. How are we going to pay for that? But what if a car repair was just an inconvenience? Instead of worrying, you pay the bill without thinking twice. A week later you’ve forgotten that it even happened! That’s how little it affects your financial situation. It’s not an emergency. It’s barely a hiccup!
Did you just feel that sense of relief as you read that??? That’s how financial freedom feels.
Paying for a car repair without stress is just a small part of the picture. It’s more than just being able to afford emergencies. It’s knowing you don’t have to worry about retirement because you’ve worked to invest consistently for decades. It’s the freedom to quit your J-O-B to do something you love, even if means getting paid less.
Financial freedom means that you get to make life decisions without being overly stressed about the financial impact because you are prepared. You control your finances instead of being controlled by them.
The path to financial independence isn’t a get-rich-quick strategy. And financial freedom doesn’t mean that you’re “free” of the responsibility of handling your money well. Quite the opposite. Having complete control over your finances is the fruit of hard work, sacrifice and time. And all of that effort is worth it! (chrishogan360.com)
The first step towards financial freedom is managing your money. You do this through a making and maintaining a budget. Whether you have thousands, millions or even billions, a budget is necessary. The richest of richest of people have budgets!
A budget is a plan for how you are going to SPEND and SAVE your money.
A budget can help you keep your finances organized, provide red flags of potential and current debt, and help your debt from taking over and overwhelming you. It can also help you plan your financial future, from building a savings nest, saving for a new car, coming up for a down payment on your future home, or even that new bag you have been wanting. Budgeting also provides you with the knowledge of how much you are spending, positively and negatively, ways in which you may analyze your spending, and an outlet to let you know how much is left over for fun and leisure.
Here are some suggestions as to how you can get started on your budgeting journey:
1. Choose a Platform
The initial step in making a budget is to choose how you will document and track your finances. This can be down in a few ways such as budgeting sheets, in a notebook, or even an app. You can find some options for some budgeting sheets here, here, and here (spreadsheet123).
It is suggested that you store your spreadsheet in iCloud; that way, you can add expenses on the go from your phone or tablet.
According to iMore, these are the top budgeting apps on the market.
With HomeBudget, you can manually input your income and expenses, including which ones are recurring and which ones just came up this month. Plan ahead by entering a maximum amount of money you want or need to spend on specific categories, like car payments and going out to dinner. You can also see how close you are to going over budget with the graphic overview.
HomeBudget also has an extra special feature: It lets you sync your budget with others. So, the people you share household finances with can include their income and expenses and you can work together to stick to your budget.
YNAB does more than just help you live within your means. It helps you evaluate your lifestyle and decide which purchases are the most important on any given day. The idea is that every dollar needs a "job." You are asked to manually allocate every bit of your income to some budget plan, even if it is "Stuff I Forgot to Budget For."
Finances are divided by what is budgeted for, what was actually spent, and what you have leftover at the end of the month. As you work within your budget, you'll see that extra income roll over to the next month, which you can start adding to your goal fund to go on vacation or buy a new car.
Goodbudget uses the envelope method for budgeting. You can create virtual envelopes that have the monthly cost on them. Then, you get to allocate your income to each of those envelopes. When you've paid a monthly expense off, the envelope is emptied. The idea is that you won't be able to spend money that is saved in an envelope because you have already pre-spent it. All of this is done manually, so you have control over what goes into each envelope and what comes out of them.
You are limited to only 10 envelopes with the initial download, but for a monthly subscription, you can add unlimited envelopes, plus new accounts to budget and have access to five years of transaction history. The monthly subscription also includes the ability to sync with up to five devices.
The next few steps require you to gather and input information. Therefore, I suggest that you have your financial resources and expenses in mind to move forward. Also, have the platform that you would like to utilize to ensure that you can input the information in the next steps as you move along.
2. Calculate Your Monthly Income
This first starts by calculating your salary. If you earn a salary, this should be fairly easy to calculate. This is the amount you receive in paychecks every month.
If you get paid the same amount on a weekly or biweekly basis, multiply the amount of one paycheck by two or four.
If you get paid by the hour, and work different hours every month, pick the lowest reasonable number you can think of, just to be safe.
3. Figure Out and Write Down your Essential Expenses
These are the expenses that are absolutes and must be paid every month or someone or something will come looking for you. LOL. This includes your rent/mortgage, car note, car insurance, light bill, phone bill, child services, groceries, and any of these necessary things. This may also include credit cards, although you should do your absolute best not to have any credit card debt passed the month in which just passed. For example, if it is December, all of your credit card swipes for November, should already be fully paid off. Depending on how you have your payments set up, these are usually reoccurring monthly or bi-monthly expenses.
According to vertex42.com, an important principal in budgeting is to make sure you give every dollar a job. You must make sure every dollar is accountable. This does NOT mean that you're required to only spend the minimum possible in every single spending category. If you need more flexibility in your budget (you'll feel it if you do) then you should build that into your budget. Don't like counting pennies while you're at the grocery store? Budget a bit of padding in there and be content with that!
Budgeting is planning, and you can plan some padding into your budget so you don't emotionally rise and fall on every over or under in your spending categories.
4. Break Expenses into Two Categories
Fixed expenses are those that stay relatively the same each month and are required parts of your way of living. They included expenses such as your mortgage or rent, car payments, cable and/or internet service, trash pickup, credit card payments and so on. These expenses, for the most part, are essential yet not likely to change in the budget.
The type that will change from month to month are called variable expenses. These include items such as groceries, gasoline, entertainment, eating out, and gifts, to name a few. This category will be important when making adjustments.
5. Total Your Monthly Income and Monthly Expenses
If your end result shows more income than expenses, you are off to a good start. This means you can prioritize this excess to areas of your budget such as retirement savings or paying more on credit card balances to eliminate that debt faster. If you are showing a higher expense column than income, it means some changes will have to be made.
6. See How Much Money You Will Have Left Over Each Month
Once your expenses are subtracted from your monthly income, you may have some remaining money. Now don’t go spending ALL of this money at Target, Zara or Gucci.
First, set aside a decent amount that will go towards your savings account. I would suggest half of whatever this number is that you have calculated as “left over”. The key is to treat your own personal savings as a legitimate top-line expense. You want to pay yourself first. You're basically paying yourself now, so you won't have to work later! This is a good place to start. If you are comfortable with going with less, or even more, do you!
Whatever number you have in front of you after your savings coins are counted for, this is what is known as your disposable income. These are the coins, dollars or multi-dollars you have left in your budget for your leisurely pleasures.
7. Make Adjustments to Expenses
If you have accurately identified and listed all of your expenses, the ultimate goal would be to have your income and expense columns to be equal. This means all of your income is accounted for and budgeted for a specific expense or savings goal.
If you're in a situation where expenses are higher than income, you should look at your variable expenses to find areas to cut. Since these expenses are typically non-essential, it should be easy to shave a few dollars in a few areas to bring you closer to your income.
8. Review Your Budget Monthly
It's important to review your budget on a regular basis to make sure you're staying on track. After the first month take a minute to sit down and compare the actual expenses versus what you had created in the budget. This will show you where you did well and where you may need to improve.
Below, please find a few two-piece options that are at affordable price points. I have also included some that are winter friendly and can be winterized. I’d like to get my hands on the heart printed one as my first choice!
Taking the time out to figure out a budget and utilize a platform won’t provide you with much gain or success if you don't use it. Save your receipts when you're out and about, and enter them in your spreadsheet, or app, as soon as possible to keep your numbers accurate.
Once you’re debt-free, stay there! For good. Having debt undermines your ability to build wealth and puts your financial plan at risk. It’s simple. Steer clear of debt!
Go ahead and get your budget on, yea, go get your budget on (in my Big Tymers “Get Your Roll On” song voice), all of course while being,
Unapologetically Me. Unapologetically You. Unapologetically Us.
Shop the Look:
Please click on the images below to shop my orange outfit. It comes in a variety of colors! Pretty Little Thing usually has a promotion code where you can get at least 20% off. They are currently having 30%! So go get this outfit for less!! The other colors are even on sale ranging from 30-64% off!! Yeeee hawwwww!!! They come in sizes 0-12.
I found my Non La hat sitting on top of one of my dad’s cars in his garage. As soon as I saw it, I grabbed it and topped off my outfit. I cannot believe I found one on Amazon for your shopping pleasures!
Please don’t forget to tag me and hashtag #inspiredbynova if you purchase any items from my look! OR are inspired by me in any way!!
Happy Shopping!! :D