DISCLAIMER: This will no be the most interesting or revolutionizing blog post ever BUT it is necessary. Talking budgets isn’t sexy and there’s no way to make it as entertaining as a good football game. I can just about guarantee that you’re not going to go do bed tonight excited about waking up to organize your budget, but it will help you get one step closer to actualizing your goal. And that’s a plus.
It really amazes me to find out how many people really don’t understand how to best maximize their money. What’s the number one reason: THEY DON’T MAKE ENOUGH. If only they made more money…After all, you can only go so far on your salary, right? And how many of us are paid SO much that we feel like we’re robbing the system?
ANYONE WHO HAS ANY AMOUNT OF MONEY NEEDS TO BUDGET
Most of us entrepreneurial types are not concerned with the details a business plan or budgets but no one is willing to fund a vision without some cold, hard data. It doesn’t matter if you have $10 or $1,000,000 if you have any amount of money, you need a budget. Any funder who is considering investing in you in any way will want to see a budget too. Plus, it’s just good practice to get in the habit of writing out a budget whether it’s for personal or business purposes. So, to help you along, here’s a breakdown of how to build a budget…(hold the applause)…using the word BUDGET. PS – the worksheets in the picture are Google Docs templates – I heart Google Docs. Best of all they’re FREE.
B = bring it all to the table. Include all revolving debt. You’ll know this debt because even when you think everyone in the world has forgotten about you, these are the companies that remind you you’re not alone…every month. And they want your money. Don’t forget to add things like birthday gifts, Tithe & Offering and vet bills. This step isn’t all bad though. Here you’ll include what you bring in as well.
U = understand where your money goes. Once you have it all on paper it is really easy to see how money is being spent. If you’re feeling ambitious, you can always make charts. Sometimes the impact of a chart can speak volumes.
D = decisions, decisions. Of course, now that you have all of your expenses and your income on paper, you can see where you can cut back if you’re not happy with the results. Coffee always gets picked as being the most expendable expense. I’m here to tell you that it’s NOT. You have to allow yourself enjoyment in a budget. Don’t quit coffee cold turkey to save $30 a week – you and those around you will thank you for keeping that fancy coffee in the budget. But there are a bunch of other ways to save money such as looking into bundling packages for internet/cable/telephone; different plans for your cellphone or even eating cheaper items on the menu when you go out to eat. Remember, just because you’re on a budget doesn’t mean you can’t live.
G = go over your budget continuously. Don’t just make it and put it away for later. Look at it. It shouldn’t be an awkward or forced thing to study your budget, so get in the habit of looking at it. Once it gets in grained in your brain, you’ll start thinking more about how you’re spending your money and that leads to better buying decisions.
E = excuse yourself if you make a mistake and go over in a month. I’m not saying get a credit card and max it out because you want to go shopping. That’s not wise. What I am saying is if you go over in a category in your budget in a month, don’t stress about it. Recognize the error, find out how to change it next month and move on. You have allow for human-ness.
T = Think of where you are now compared to where you were before you started your budget. One thing you will start to notice is that money does not own you — you begin to own your money, no matter the number in your checking account.
Once you get started, budgeting is REALLY easy. If you’re putting together a budget together for professional reasons, funders will want to see how you’re spending the money you currently have, so it’s important to keep a realistic and updated one handy. Do you already have a budget? I’ll review it for FREE — just email it to me at Romans1513LLC@gmail.com.
Don’t Lose Hope,