Have you ever watched the movie Jerry Maguire? It's the scene where Tom Cruise yells "SHOW ME THE MONEY!!!!!!". Well, that is what I am doing to my budget; yelling at it.
Moving into 2010 has been interesting for me. I have been on the move to change bad habits and create new healthy ones. The first bad habit that I have been tackling is my “living life on the edge” budget. I pretty much knew how much money I had but I never paid attention to how much I was spending on one particular thing. I also was using deadly credit cards. I was numb to the dumbness of my life. I was living my life on Stupid instead of living it on SMART!! I am not saying that I am stupid, I am just saying that I like so many out there, ignored the issues that caused them to fall deeper and deeper into the earthly Hell called DEBT. So the buck stops here, literally. As Dave Ramsey would say, you must “Live like no one else, so that later you can LIVE LIKE NO ONE ELSE”. If you don’t understand the phrase, then I would recommend the book “Total Money Makeover” by Dave Ramsey.
How does one live life on a tight budget, say no to the unnecessary and hopefully plan for the unexpected? Since the beginning of this year, I have been transitioning into the Total Money Makeover mindset. I took a Financial Peace University course before Christmas last year, but really didn’t implement it hard core until January. So now I am budgeting, saving, and trying to figure out how the heck do I live off of a stipend of what I make? I have noticed that when you are trying to stick to a plan, it is certainly not easy. It’s not easy when fun things come around the corner and at the last minute you have to say no. This is not the end of the world, but it is certainly a change.
So, I have been avoiding this for a few weeks, but I know the time has come. I must record every penny I spend to figure out what I can fix in the future. This must be done for 4 weeks. I know too much spending for most people, really comes down to the food budget; you think you need this or that and before you know it, your money is gone. So here goes the next financial breakthrough in my life. I will record every single penny that I spend and try and figure out how I am blowing the cash. This idea is not my own, mind you. The idea comes from the book "Debt-Proof Living: The Complete Guide to Living Financially Free" by Mary Hunt. She is a Christian author who gives some great insight to living financially free. I read her book right after the Dave Ramsey one and really liked a lot of the idea's she had. Although I am very much a Ramsey fan, if you want to know the nityy gritty on how to budget, she's got it. Anyway, what she recommends is to have 3x5 cards on hand for each day's spending. You are to catalog every penny and then at the end of the day, put it in a file for that week. At the end of every week you are to put all the money on a spreadsheet, divide it into categories and then move on to the next week. At the end of the month you are to add up everything in each category and then figure out how much you spend for each thing. This might help to see if there is an area that is unnecessary.
So, to all my readers, here goes. If you have any good advise on budget's, please let me know. I am all ears.