One of the most important parts of living on less is thinking like a business person. Come up with a business plan for your business. Your family and your life is YOUR business. Treat it that way. The secret is to Plan, Plan, Plan.
The important money management skill that we should learn asap is to stick to your budget and hold yourself accountable.
Accountability is hard. Persistence is hard. If it was easy, everyone would have everything they want exactly when they want it. At the end of the day, what is important to you? It takes time and hard work. If you to want to head toward the goal of not needing to work to live, then you must chip away and the things keeping you from that goal. If you want to live more and work less, you need to get to a point where you don’t need more than you have. Do whatever you need to do to make the goal forefront I your mind. Do you need your partner to check you when you get off track? Great! Then get them on board with the plan so they can help and encourage you when you are faltering. Do you need a dream board? Great! Some people need to see that cabin in the mountains, that trip to Disney, that new car to help making sacrifices an easier thing to do. Do you live electronically? Great! There are many programs out there that can help you stay on track to achieve your goals. Find what works for you and stick to it. But beware your darlings, if it isn’t working for you then change it because it will quickly work against you. Reevaluation of your priorities is crucial. Money can buy you happiness. Not because if the amount you have in the bank, but because of the hold (or lack of a hold) that it has on you. Consider why you are living lean. Remember that a little bit of sacrifice can pay off huge with a little bit of time, preparedness, and commitment. It is tough, but life is tough. Make the sacrifices as long as they serve the purpose of the bigger picture. Only you can make this change in your life. Pennies do add up and you will be surprised how quickly you see a real change in your life.
Part 2 – Basic Home Budgeting
Part 4 – How to Not Spend Money
I am a stay at home mom and happily married to my husband Tom. I have a five year old daughter and a two and a half year old son. I grew up in Orlando, but went to school in New York City and lived in Los Angeles before moving home to raise a family. I have worked in the film industry since the early nineties, and for over a decade with the Florida Film Festival. I also spent many years working in marketing with Glaceau and Honest Tea. But, I am happiest at home building my family.
For more Money Management Skill Tips, read these:
How to manage couples finances? This is an important question every couple or those who are deciding to move-in together should think about and if possible ask to their financial planners. Well if you’re in-love, money matters is probably the last thing on a couple’s mind but a little financial planning is very important before you decide to get serious in a relationship. Unfortunately some couples are already deep in the relationship even before they realized that money management is an important factor for having a good and stable relationship.
Managing couples finances is tricky, some even say that it’s a conversational time bomb. Money matters can be a source of conflict, but would you rather talk about finances early on to have a healthy relationship and avoid conflicts or have a nasty battle in the end when both of you decided that the relationship is not working?
1. Get acquainted with each other’s financial habits. If you have shortcomings confess it to your partner early on, there shouldn’t be any financial secrets. Are you a shopaholic? Do you have people who depend on you financially? Do you have a lousy credit score? These are heavy stuff but it’s better to get the big stuff out of the way early. It doesn’t mean that once you discover something nasty, you have to break-up with your partner. This is where planning comes, solve the conflict by meeting halfway and talk about how you both want to compromise. Have some ground rules that both of you will agree on. For unmarried couple, this is the time to discuss if you both want to have pre-nup when you decide to get married.
2. Have a joint account but also make sure to have your own separate account. Save money for your own use! It is better that you already save enough money before you move-in together. This will give you the freedom to indulge once in a while by buying things that you want without getting into an argument with your partner. According to a recent study, the number one precaution that you can do to safeguard yourself financially is to save more money before moving in with someone else.
3. Create a budget. Have a game plan, discuss how much each of you should contribute for the household expenses. If you have debt, how much should be allotted for paying the debt. It is important to contribute an amount for saving for the future. The rest of the money you can keep it for your personal use or savings account.
4. Keep track of your purchases. Make sure to keep receipts and all your financial statements. Document what has been a joint purchase or a personal purchase.
5. Safeguard your assets. If you’re not married and are renting make sure that your name is on the lease. Assets acquired during marriage generally are marital, but you must keep your non-marital assets titled in your own name.
6. Have a regular money talk. You can dream and plan, discuss your priorities. This is very healthy for your relationship because you get to understand your partner better. Maybe one is scrimping because he or she wants to save money for kitchen makeover or so that you can go on a cruise or vacation together or that one is just concern for your future.
7. In any good relationship planning for the future is a must, especially for married couples. Kids, health, retirement etc., you should discuss all these and decide if it’s time for you to get a financial planner, Genworth Financial has a good coverage worksheet that you can use, so that it will be easier to discuss your needs with your financial planner.
Topic: Couples Finances
It’s a new year and a new you, right? One of the most popular New Year’s resolutions (next to loosing weight!) is to save money. While it is great to set financial goals, something must be done to implement them.
According to financial expert David Bach and author of “Start Over, Finish Rich”, the key to getting your finances in line is to “find your money”. Although sometimes it is less stressful being in the dark about your debt and where your money goes, it is not beneficial. Bach suggests an easy way to organize your finances is to make a file folder system with 14 categories. Basically you break down your bills and expenses into categories. Then you file your paperwork and receipts as they come in. Financial organization is something I need to tackle! I am a stacker (it may be genetic, my mom is a stacker too!). My bills and paperwork are stacked to be filed later…although the paperwork rarely gets filed! You can read more about his system at Today.
If you are into tracking your finances online, try Mint or Wesabe. They are free and offer budgeting tools and they can analyze your spending. If you want to track your shopping saving and spending you might want to try the free excel savings tracker we shared yesterday.
As for myself, I have a lot of work to do in the financial organization department! I have set my weekly shopping budget at $100 ($40 a week for January for the Pantry Challenge!). However, I would like to track our monthly spending better. I just set up a Mint account…very easy! Mint has already started tracking my spending and I have spent $4.97 of my weekly budget!
When setting budget goals, remember that your goals should be tailored to meet your families needs. Your budget goals do not have to match mine or Amee’s.
How do you plan on organizing your finances for 2010? Are you tracking your spending? Do you have a weekly budget?