Keeping track doesn’t have to be painful. You want to find a system that works for you, something not too complicated. You don’t have to track expenses for the rest of your life, but hopefully, you will realize the value, as I have, and want to make it part of your financial plan.
Category: Budgeting & Money Management
A retired couple, who came to me for financial advice, were in for one of their follow up Counselling Sessions. I had them track their spending for the previous month and was asking them how they did. They felt they had done a good job except for the fact that (in her words) her husband did not get receipts. He was openly frustrated with this requirement to account for every cent spent.
Talking about money can be more difficult that discussing sex in a relationship. Yet finances are a thread that runs through every relationship and an open dialogue on the subject is essential to the success of a couple’s unity. The following are some guidelines for cleaning the lines of communication – for love and for money!
Its true! Just because we help people find solutions to their financial woes, doesn’t mean we don’t have our own.
I’m sure fitness instructors sometimes have lazy periods, Investment advisors have lost money and great chefs order pizzas. The point is, we are all human and we all make less-than-perfect choices once in awhile. In fact, it is our very mistakes that help us help you. As other has been heard saying, “do as I say. Not as I do”.
I’m in my car. On my way to work. Listening to the radio. And one commercial catches my attention.
A lady comes home with a shopping bag. Her husbands asks what’s in it and then exclaims, “Don’t you have enough dresses?” (Like that’s actually possible). She replies, “But honey, they were 70 percent off”. He pauses and then replies, “That’s a lot.” In reality, this is a general perception. If it’s on sale and I’m getting such a great bargain, I should buy this.
We have a weekly tradition in our household. Every week, assuming they have earned it, we stop at the local convenience store, where my kids get to pick out a movie. We head to the non new-release section. Its a great deal. A 3 day rental for 2.00. The kids get an entire weekend of entertainment (assuming they have time to watch the movies. And if they don’t, it’s only 4 bucks.)
If you step back and look at your finances, you will find that you are in one of three stages of financial being – The first stage is “survival mode”. The next stage is the “breathing room” stage. The third stage, which is where we all strive to be, is the “comfort zone”.
Trimming your budget is a lot like trimming your waistline. Consumers spend millions of dollars every year looking for that magic solution to losing weight. And businesses increase their bottom line while relatively few consumers decrease their bottoms/middles etc. The same phenomenon happens in money management. We tend to look for quick fixes – consolidation loans, second mortgages, payday loans. Neither works for the masses. Why? They do nothing to address the underlying problem…
It’s been six long months and my hands are cleaner than ever. Who would have thought I would make it this far? I am referring to life without a dishwasher. Around mid-December, ours broke. My first reaction was sheer terror. I’m pretty sure I almost lost consciousness. Like many families struggling to make ends meet, I didn’t have any savings to buy another. The word credit kept flashing in my mind, but we were just managing what we had. I took a deep breath, pulled up my rubber gloves, and started washing.