Part 3 in the New Economy Series
Acquiring information and advice about how to manage or invest our money is easy. The trick is to act on the information, to do something that improves your life and the lives of those you love. That’s what wielding the energy of money is all about. ~Maria Nemeth
Budgeting is a plan that helps people make the best use of their income and savings.
• Distinguish between wants and needs. Realistic, workable budgets result when couples agree to provide carefully for their needs and to exercise self-discipline and patience as they seek to provide for some of their wants.
• Most families can reduce some of their expenditures with a little resourcefulness and accountability. Begin budgeting by listing all expenditures from several previous months. Determine where the money went and which expenditures were unnecessary and which were necessary. Then decide what you can do yourself like: washing & ironing clothes instead of using a dry cleaner, growing your own food – an urban food forest to offset rising food prices & GMO pesticide foods, install solar panels, efficent appliances, and rain barrels to water plants, plant shrubs to keep home cool and convert lawn and landscaping using xerscaping.
• Budget for other set expenses, such as rent or mortgage, utilities, food, clothing, debt reduction, and transportation. By carefully analyzing past months’ spending, you can obtain a realistic idea of how much to allot for each item. When buying clothes, get rid of old clothes that don’t fit or are worn and donate or sell them at a second hand store. Don’t accumulate!!!
• Pay yourself first! Put money aside in a savings program after necessary expenses have been budgeted. Starting both a short-and long-term savings program can help you meet unplanned emergencies as well as provide for future major expenses.
• Budgets should be flexible, if not they usually fail. Allot personal spending money that need not be accounted for.
• Take into account affordable recreation and allow for some spontaneity- the unplanned diversions or for items that are a part of joyful living.
• Use a regular portion of income to prepare for future needs.