Most Americans don’t keep a household budget of monthly expenses and income. You may not realize that having a plan for your income protects your bottom line. You should keep a record of all expenses and income to make sure you are making sound financial decisions. Always include a miscellaneous category for unexpected expenses for the month. Like the old adage “Better safe than sorry!”. Pay yourself every month with a direct deposit amount allocated in your budget to a dedicated savings account. Review your budget monthly for any needed updates. When setting your budget parameters review them for any flaws initially and try to keep categories consistent. Remember your spending plan is a roadmap to financial security. Ditch the bargain bin mentally and remember the quality of life both now and in the future. Shopping lists are important and review them before going to the store removing any truly unnecessary purchases. I keep one on the refrigerator then review it before moving it to my wallet. I review it one more time before completing my shopping errands striking through any items that are not needed that week.
As a consumer you should remember that retailers spend big bucks studying what makes shoppers tick. You making impulse purchases, is their goal; they appeal to the subconscious part of the consumers brain with constant reinforcement to spend and reward yourself. Do not fall for this subliminal and repeated reinforcement to spend and reward. The true rewards are financial stability. Use that list you prepared and order online for pick up if you cannot resist impulse buys. Do not linger over a purchase which involves indecision. You probably did not need it. Move on reevaluate later. You may find that extra step will make you rethink your purchase.
Action Plan: Roadmap your spending plan based on your current income and expenses. Allocate money for entertainment and spending but keep it realistic based on your roadmap other wise you will travel down a road of financial disaster. Keep your budget realistic to your situation for the long term.
Don’t just tell yourself you need a spending plan make it a reality. Face it head on “Procrastination is not your friend.” Find ways to to reduce, reuse, donate and recycle. Tweak that grocery list. Post your grocery receipt on the refrigerator for reference when meal planning. Challenge yourself to set attainable goals. Find things you enjoy doing that do not break the bank and allocate for them. You deserve some enjoyment based on realistic spending habits. Negotiate cell phone costs, tv and internet. Make those phone calls to compare pricing and let your current company know you are looking for the best deal available even if that means switching. Comparison shop for insurance coverage yearly. Insurance companies rely on ‘new business’; maybe you have been with your carrier for too long. Loyalty does not always pay. Research discounts for home security devices and other ways to save money for insurance coverage on home and automobile. Many companies will give you a break in premiums for extra security measures.
Some of your biggest recurring expenses will typically be a mortgage, car payment, insurance, phone, tv, groceries and internet. What is your bottom line telling YOU?
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