This year, our financial fitness could be just as important as physical fitness. By budgeting, you can get your finances in order and save for that vacation as well as save for a rainy day.
Budgeting can be done by anyone with the willingness to commit to the challenge of a better financial future. For 30 days, challenge yourself to makeover you personal finances, build a workable home budget, control household spending, free up monies while paying off debts. All of these things together may allow you to start funding you savings and retirement goals.
By stepping up to the challenge, it could help shape a financial plan for the future by establishing clearly written goals. Without a clear picture of where we want to be, we abandon ship or commitments for the future and only zero in on the short term.
Food for thought is some of us are wasting time, money and depleting our resources, which in turn is eating away at our financial futures by trying to provide for lifestyles we cannot afford. This challenge is a step toward changing the future and making better choices with money while creating the future you want.
Here’s the challenge…
- Track every dollar you spend – This will help you see where every dollar is being spent and see how much is being spent on things you don’t need. The commitment is to save every single receipt for every dollar spent for 30 days. This includes those transactions under $5. The purpose is to make note and account for every dollar that hits bank statements. Create a spreadsheet or buy accounting ledger even use your checkbook.
- Build a budget – Your budget will track your expenses; manage income, helps with paying off debts. Your personal budget will serve as your accountability. In order to stick to your budget, keep it simple and easy to understand. It does not have to be extensive. However, this step is crucial to understanding how you spend the money you work hard to earn. The commitment to the budget is simple live within the budget. Also, that means accounting for discretionary and miscellaneous purchases outside of your budget. Make this task easier by keeping a budget worksheet in Microsoft Office Excel.
- Credit Card fast – Simple no credit cards for 30 days. If you can’t pay cash, then you don’t need it. Simple as that.
- Examine lifestyle choices – Our lifestyle choices usually consume the bulk of our monthly income. This section is an afterthought because it is simply how we live our lives. Dining out, morning coffee and donut, eating out daily for lunch and sometimes dinner, shopping sprees, and weekend activities are a part of our daily and weekly choices. Delve into credit card statements and determine whether the purchases were discretionary based on convenience or lifestyle choices. Use your budget to set a limit to this time of spending. During this challenge, stop and think before you make purchases. Maybe, even sleep on it before making the purchase, this could help with making purchases there were unnecessary.
- Keep your eye on the prize – The final step in the 30 day challenge is to think of exactly what you would like to come out of this challenge. Dare to dream of achieving your goals, hopes and dreams for your life. Think of what that someday looks like for you. Write these things down in short term and long term goals, hopes, and dreams.
All in all, this 30 day challenge is a starting point. It gives you insight into your finances. It is meant to help you create a better financial future where debt is a bad word, a future where anything is possible.