Monday, August 2, 2010

Budgets: Hold Your Nose and Try One

Crane Paper Company in Dalton produces the pap...Image via Wikipedia
Budgets, that's a dirty word to some of you. It strikes terror in the heart of the unorganized. It's a necessary evil that you may come to think more highly of by the time we are through here. Let's take the pressue off by saying a budget is not a tool used to keep you chained up. It's a simple helper that tells your money where to go. Think of every dollar as a little ant on it's way to do it's work. Ants are very organized in their work. There are no lazy ants they all have a job and they do it without complaint. Your money should do the same. A budget will tell your money what to do. 
Now how does it work. Every month you make a new budget. With previous budgets you'll have a guide. But with your first budget it works like this. Top of the page list your income for the month. Next prioritize your spending. Food, electric, car, gas, rent or mortgage. These are the core items to indicate on your budget. Next group consists of all others listed by importance. You may have more items on your budget than money to spend. It doesn't matter if you can't pay all your items on the list. You spend your money on this list till it's gone. This is a simplified budget. But you can budget for things not just for this month, but for things many months away. 
Your budget is now done. Now don't you reel better. You have a plan. This really will reduce stress and simplify your life. It is important to do this together with your spouse. They do have a say in it. Also both must promise to follow it. If there is a change to be made mid month, both must agree to it. Total transparency must always be maintained. 
The benifits of a budget are many. They will bring your marriage to a whole new level. It will build trust and reduce stress. Your first budget may crash and burn, but start over and keep trying.

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