Everyone varies with household budgets, but they are all fundamentally the same. Don’t be intimidated. It’s super easy and life is so much easier when you have one. Here’s what I do.
First, does your employer offer a 401K and match a percentage? If so, get on that NOW. It’s FREE money and tax free. So if they match 3.5%, contribute at least that much. I contribute a little more than that, but everyone’s different.
Now onto the household budget…
STEP ONE: Expenses and Income
Take ALL expenses on a monthly basis – total it up.
These items will be paid from your checking account. If you are disciplined enough you can use your credit card to collect miles or cash back ONLY IF you pay it ALL of with a $0 balance at the end of the month.
That could however lead you down a dark path. BE CAREFUL. I personally don’t recommend it for those just getting started with a budget, but those who are extremely diligent do find it worthwhile.
Okay, back to expenses. Put them all down on paper (or Excel or Word). If you get a bill that is every other month or quarterly, just divide into monthly.
Now that you have it all down, take a good look at it. Are there things you are paying for that you never use or need? Are you paying too much for cable or cell service? Have a membership you never use? If so, GET RID OF THEM immediately.
Take ALL income on a month basis – total it up.
Include all income. Child support, rental income, second job, etc.
STEP TWO: What’s left over?
Take 10% of that number. That is for your Emergency Fund saving account. You should have at least $1000 in savings for those unexpected expenses. So, get that ball rolling. Add that 10% number to your expense list.
STEP THREE: Redo the equation, now what’s left over?
You officially have the magic number. This is how much you have to spend every month. NOTHING MORE.
Divide that by 4.2 (sometimes there are 5 weeks in a month) – that will be how much CASH to give yourself for the week.
You CANNOT use your debit card or credit card. It’s CASH ONLY system. So by the end of the 7 days, if you only have 5 bucks left, you better go get a Ramen noodle dinner, ‘cuz that’s all you get.
Now my accountant Karen Durda likes to add her two cents to this. “When you have only so much cash for groceries the temptation to buy extra is removed. I shop with a list. That takes care of my budgeting. This week the store did not have some items on my list so there was extra money in my pocket, BUT I do not roll it over to the next week. I take what was left and put it away.” She actually has a big jar in the kitchen labeled MAD MONEY. “I tell the dog that’s his allowance. Seriously, that jar PAID for painting and other household needs!”
You will adjust your spending VERY quickly within a couple of weeks and learn to live with what you have.
STEP FOUR: Relax
You will be surprised how much LESS you spend when you use this method. If you stick with it, you will not believe how much easier life is. There is no guess work on what’s in your account, and you will not be getting any overdrafts. You will always be able to pay your bills.
And that’s the gist of it. Super simple. Remember, this is just how I do it personally. Everyone is different. Hope this helps.
An elderly woman whose home was destroyed by the Oklahoma tornado found her pet dog among the rubble during a live TV interview.
The footage of Barbara Garcia came as fellow survivors began reliving the terror they felt while winds of up to 200mph obliterated their neighborhoods.
Mrs Garcia was standing among the twisted wreckage of her home as she was interviewed about her experiences by a reporter from CBS.
“I was sitting on the stool holding my dog,” she said.
“This was the game plan all through the years, to go in that little bathroom (together). I rolled around a little bit and when it stopped I was right there (and) that stove cooker is what I saw.
“I never lost consciousness and I hollered for my little dog and he didn’t answer, he didn’t come, so I know he’s in here somewhere.”
If you are like me and enjoy Young Adult Fantasy fiction, you are going to LOVE the Protector Series by M.R. Merrick. He is letting you read, Book One, EXILED for free for the next couple of days. So go for it, download it and check it out. I guarantee you will scoop up book two and three immediately!
Let me preface this with saying that I am not a fan of typos. Regardless of the fact that I make them all the time, they drive me crazy. When I see them in professional news stories, and novels, I cringe. I mean, people get paid to find them. I see them more and more as the years go by.
But when it comes to social media, there are typos all over the place, and of course no one spells anything properly. They write “text” style. I get it. So that really doesn’t bother me so much. But you know what does? When people write a status update and, ya know, it could be serious, like “10 years ago, my mother left this Earth. I miis her so much.” Yes, you caught the typo. Some people have the nerve to correct them. Saying something like, “I dunno about miising” her but I do miss her too.”
Really? Are you seriously calling out a typo on this kind of status update. ARGH!
Okay, I am done venting…
Howdy! Alright everyone. Apparently, a lot of people want to know what the heck is going on around here when it comes to our AWESOME film industry. The new segment of my show I am proud to say has gotten so popular that I had to have a separate blog just for the Wilmington Film Scene…
Subscribe and Enjoy!
From Friday on the Sunny Morning Show…
I spoke to a school friend on facebook yesterday that I haven’t seen in over 20 years. We weren’t that close but I remember The last time we spoke, she was all teary eyed. – Absolutely devastated as she wanted to go to Harvard her entire life since she was like 8. Always wore the Harvard sweatshirt at school… and even though she had the grades, she didn’t get in. Devastated, she chose another school, a state school in fact, which was where she met her soulmate. They’ve been married for over 20 years with 3 kids and are happier than ever.
My favorite story that I will never forget however…
Years ago, a friend of mine was in a serious car accident on the way to a really awesome job interview. She was rushed to the hospital – broken bones, laying there thinking why me, why me…feeling like a victim, feeling sorry for myself , even in pain, she couldn’t sleep, so she asked for something to read. The nurse gave her a newspaper. Right there on the front page was the headlines, murder suspect captured due to a car accident. Her car accident.
And to top it off, it was the same day, the hiring manager had a major melt down and left the company and he flipped out on a potential employee…After recovering 6 weeks later, she got the job she was on her way to apply for…
What’s your story?