We recently held a seminar on How to Organize Your Finances in 4 Easy Steps. Attendees were taught about the importance of creating and sticking to a budget or spending plan that you decide upon to track what you earn, spend, and save.
The seminar began with educating attendees about the “grandparent method” of budgeting – in the past our grandparents typically budgeted by placing cash in various envelopes labeled by bill name. For example, when money was needed for groceries, it was taken from the grocery envelope. Today it’s a little bit different— we live in a typically cashless society where plastic cards and automatic or online bill payments are virtually the norm. However, attendees were shown how the grandparent budgeting method can easily be applied to today’s digital world.
The seminar emphasized the significance of creating a plan of what you think you’ll spend for the month at the beginning of the month – and tracking it on your computer in an Excel spreadsheet, or by using a budgeting program such as Microsoft Money, online banking, or an app on your mobile phone.
Regardless of the method you choose to create your budget, you should enter your recurring or fixed monthly expenses first, including: mortgage/rent; monthly utilities; and any debts such as auto loans, student loans, or credit card. Next, enter your flexible expenses, or things you have control over – such as: entertainment, food, clothing, and household expenses. Seminar attendees were given a budgeting worksheet to use, and shown how to manage their expenses and input their income regardless of whether they were planning for just themselves, a couple, or a family budget.
While budgeting might be “scary” for some, don’t be afraid to have fun with your budget! Make a game of saving your money, and paying your bills. People are afraid of money – especially of not having it. By creating an organized plan for your lifestyle, you won’t ever need to be afraid of not having money again.
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