The first and most essential part of budgeting is Paying Yourself First.  This means putting yourself and your family before any other demands on your money.  Put a set amount away from each paycheck and the best way to do this is through a direct deposit.  “If you don’t see it you don’t miss it.”

If you’re like I was you spend money on a lot of things you don’t really need, or you miss manage your money by spending it on things as they come before you with little or no thought why you are spending it.

Helping Beat The Financial Funk

An exercise that opened my eyes is writing down each time I spent money for a month.  I kept a list on my Smartphone of almost all the purchases I made for a 30 day period from paying the mortgage to buying a candy bar, and yes I cheated and didn’t record some of the junk food I bought.  But that just heightened my own awareness in the end when I was balancing the month’s expenditures as to how much money I was wasting.

Be will to Delay

The embarrassing realization was who but myself was I cheating and hiding my thoughtless spending from.  It was then that I came to realize that my activities and expenses were controlling me, rather than me controlling my money.  I needed to gain control of my lifestyle. I needed to learn and understand the difference between wants and needs.

I knew why my wants took such priority over my needs.  It goes once again back to the days I lived in the projects of Newark N.J. and not being able to eat whenever I needed, or when I did eat not eating what I needed or wanted.  I had to eat simply what was put in front of me or voluntarily starve myself.  I remember making the statement to myself “when I get older I would eat and buy what I wanted whenever I wanted it.” As I grew up I rewarded myself by doing just that!  Not realizing how much more I was out of control.  It cost me a lot, not only in wasted money but also my health!If you can't Pay Cash

I had to learn to sacrifice by learning to do without some of the things I considered niceties in life which were things I didn’t need just simply wanted.  These were things that made me appear to be something I wasn’t when around others.  They were things like clothes, mainly name brand and always new in appearance, jewelry bright, shiny, big ,bold and gold most of which either got lost or stolen.  Cars always fast slick and sporty.

As I think on it, talk about out of control spending on speeding tickets, the cost of new tires because I like to burn rubber (showing off), buying parts to simply make my car look faster and cooler than my friends’ cars, and the cost of my auto insurance due to sporty cars and speeding fines.  I had to adjust my lifestyle.

What I found I had to do is set a written budget for myself and stick to it.  I had to realistically list my incomes and my expenses.  I had to become brutally honest with myself when it came to the expenses or my budget would not work.

I had to start paying for somethings in cash.  I had to learn to make cash withdrawal from the bank once per month separate the cash for food and personal expenditures. This withdrawal was my spending money for the month.  When this was gone, I couldn’t buy anything else. This gave me a greater appreciation for how much I was actually spending each month.  I learned also that living without consulting my budget, meant I really didn’t have a budget I only had a cash flow problem.

In the Free Financial Literacy EZ eBook   we are going to demonstrate how to set a budget and discuss ways and tools to help you stick to the budget.  Following this post will be some suggested sample budget guideline pages for use in the EZ eBook for your critique.

Talking Fin Lit

We would appreciate your sharing with others who read this blog how you keep to your budget , why you never had a budget, or how your spending is out of control and what it would take to get it under control.

Keep in mind the creation of this EZ eBook is a community project your input is valued and requested.  Feel free to make commentsSubscribe to receive your free copy of the EZ eBook when completed along with automatic updates on future post by email.

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