LIVING COMFORTABLY ON A BUDGET
Many Americans have found themselves struggling to make ends meet each month. Even those who once considered themselves “affluent” are finding themselves looking for ways to cut back on expenses. By taking the time to set a budget, you can avoid the ongoing financial struggles and worries that can plague you.
Having a budget means looking at your spending in a way that avoids excessive debt and setting realistic goals for spending and saving. With a workable budget, you can avoid the ongoing stress that comes with debt and enjoy your life. A workable and comfortable budget is something that can vary between individuals, so it’s important for each person to determine what “comfortable” means to them as they enter the budgeting process.
Set goals and have a plan
For some, having enough money for a weekend getaway several times a year can be a goal. For others, being able to go out to eat once a week or indulge in some non-essential shopping once a month can be a treat. Understanding how to make the most of your money without worrying about big bills is the key to being happy living within a set budget.
No matter where you live, the culture around you affects the way you think about money. It is that culture that helps dictate what you consider a comfortable life. If everyone you know drives a new $70,000 Tesla while you’re still riding in your 9-year-old Honda Civic, you’ll notice the disparity. But do you care about that disparity? Maybe you prefer a good book to an $80 movie for 2 (after popcorn and soda) or a backyard barbecue to dinner at a 4-star restaurant. Where your priorities lie is a big determining factor in setting your spending.
60 day challenge
Track every dollar you spend for the next 60 days. Log every Starbucks coffee, phone app subscription, food, and candy bar you buy. After 60 days, review each item and ask yourself if that was the best use for that money. You may be very surprised at the results.
Look at your bills/expenses over the last month and see where you could save. Do you need a $4 a day coffee from the corner barista or can you brew it yourself at home (saving about $20 a week)? Can you save more by packing a lunch, taking public transportation, or buying in bulk? Look around you and you’ll be amazed at how much you can save each month.
be satisfied not sacrificed
Finally, be aware of what many experts call “frugal fatigue.” Being hyper-conscious about your spending can become a problem in itself if it leads to the other extreme… a sudden and unnecessary waste. It is important to recognize financial fatigue if it begins to affect you. If you’re tired of analyzing every dollar you spend, before you screw up your budgeting efforts, take a moment to consider the satisfaction and stability you’ll feel knowing you have some money set aside for an emergency or planned expense.
Stick to that budget! If you still feel like you need to “spend,” drop by for a $4 cup of coffee just once a week and settle for that extravagance for now.
Bond & Botes helps people struggling with debt
We are local and offer a free, confidential face-to-face consultation with an experienced attorney. We also offer free consultations from the comfort and safety of your home or office by phone and/or video if you choose. Let us solve your financial problems. There’s no obligation, and that means there’s no downside to gathering the information you need to make good decisions about how to break the cycle of debt stress and move forward. We can answer all of your questions about Chapter 7 bankruptcy, Chapter 13 bankruptcy, stopping foreclosure or wage garnishment, avoiding liens, stopping lawsuits, paying off medical debt, personal loans, payday loans, credit card debt. credit etc. We can relieve your stress! We want to help you and we can help you!
Bond, Botes, Sykstus, Tanner and McNutt, P.C.
102 South Court St, Suite 314, Florence, AL 35630
Phone: 256-760-1010 • Fax: 256-760-1023
Office Hours: Monday – Friday • 8am to 5pm
It is not guaranteed that the quality of the legal services to be performed will be greater than the quality of the legal services to be performed by other lawyers.