|Terry Rigg is the editor of the Budget Stretcher Newsletter. The
Budget Stretcher Newsletter is published monthly and is loaded with
information that will save you time and money everyday. Go to
http://www.homemoneyhelp.com for more information.
had a lot of people tell me that setting up their budget was simple,
but when it came to living by it payday after payday, they admitted
losing interest in a very short time.
Let's face it. The day-to-day
drudgery of trying to figure out how to best spend your money isn't
the most interesting aspect of our lives.
Let me see if I can make the budget
process a little more appealing to you. I don't have any magic or
secret process to tell you about but I do have a method that will
show you why a budget doesn't have to be boring.
I can do this with one word. GOALS
When we think of goals most of us
look far into the future to our retirement. That's the problem. It's
hard to imagine when you're 20 what you will need when you are 65.
Accomplishing your goals doesn't have
to take a lifetime. Even when they do, you can set milestones along
the way to break it up and get a sense of accomplishment much
If you have problems staying on a
budget, try setting some short term goals. We can start with an easy
one. Try to save $100 without missing it.
Unless you have no income at all, this
is easy. Don't spend any coins for any reason. If you buy something
for 25 cents, break a dollar. Then all you have to do is put the
change out of your pocket or purse in a jar every day.
This sounds simple enough and you've
probably heard about saving change before. If you are a skeptic like
I was, you probably think that this isn't going to lead to any real
savings at all.
Let's get back to that $100 I was
talking about. How long do you think it would take you to save
enough change to equal $100. 6 months? 1 year?
The fact is that the average person
can save $100 in less than three months. In some cases even sooner.
That's not very long to accomplish a goal.
Now let's look at setting milestones
using the same method. Roll your change once a month to see how
close you are to your goal. Write down how much you saved that month
on a piece of paper and put that and your rolled change back in the
jar. Keep doing this until you've reached your $100 goal.
Now, what do you do with that $100?
You could put it in a savings account and earn a little interest, but
it still wouldn't be worth much more than $100 even after a year.
My suggestion would be to pay it
toward one of your credit cards. That way you could turn that $100 into
much more with the interest you would save.
It may sound like I strayed from the
topic of this article by talking about saving your change. Actually
a budget is just a system of reaching goals. You do this by working
backwards. You decide what it is you want to do and then make all of
your money decisions based on that end.
Setting up and maintaining a budget
is going to take organization and discipline. This task will be much
easier if you are working toward something you really want.