Wednesday, March 25, 2009

WFMW - Finances

I've been working on my finances lately. So, I thought I would share a couple of things that work for me.

1. Write it down - Either write your budget (yes, I used the budget word) on paper or in a spreadsheet. I use Excel. I have all my monthly expenses written down, and additional lines for things that come up. Don't forget to give yourself some fun money / slush money. Or you won't likely stick to whatever you've written down.

2. Be realistic - Debt doesn't happen overnight, so fixing whatever ails you won't either. This is saving money, paying off credit cards or other debts, getting out of living paycheck to paycheck, etc. Try to set a realistic goal of what you want to accomplish. If you want to save $40 a month, figure out where that $10 can come from each week. For me, I know if I want to save a certain amount, I pay myself first. It does actually work.

3. Stay on top of it - Check your bills / payments frequently. I check my accounts several times a week. Sometimes even daily. If you aren't the type to do this, write it ALL down. Find some way to make yourself be accountable to YOU.

4. Give yourself permission - You deserve the best. This doesn't necessarily mean whatever is right in front of your face at this moment. It means, in everything. So, give yourself permission to put yourself first. I have to do this with myself. Maybe others don't. But I do. I also give myself permission to splurge once in awhile.

5. Have checkpoints and new goals - If you know your end goal is years away, or even months, having an interim checking point helps to stay on track. So, for me, I have a big goal, but then smaller goals that make up that goal. For example, if I want to save a certain amount of money this year, I might check to see where I am monthly to make sure I'm on track. But, then I also have maybe a 5 year plan. Or want to put money in different types of investments. Pick one, do that for a year, then add another. Breaking things down into manageable chunks helps me be able to see the bigger picture that can be accomplished.

These things worked for me when going through the adoption, financing the adoption and buying my house, etc. Whenever I have a bigger goal in mind, I try to stick to these basic principles. Maybe simple, but it works for me!! :)

Now, go over to We are That Family and see what types of things work for others, day to day!!! :)


1 comment:

  1. Very sound advice Melissa! My wife and I are planning on sititng down here in the next week or so and put a ( thoughts of the Fonz trying to say a word he doesnt like to say come to mind ) budget ( there I said it ) and figure out how we are going to get rid of our debt. I told here at the end of last year I wanted everything but the house paid off by the time im 40 ( which is a little less than 3 years away ) Dont see why it cant happen with a little planning right =)