I want to share my first live video I did tonight on facebook. I promise they will only get better. Please leave a comment!!
Before you can ever begin living under your monthly income, you need to be able to live within your income for any given month. I created this as a guide for an E-Z Zero-based budget process beginning with your expenses. Before you reach this level you need to brainstorm and list every bill or person you pay in a given year. Just grab a sheet of paper and start writing in no particular order or format
Start with a List of YOUR Expenses
Now that you have your list compiled, and know that it may not be in any way totally complete, as you open emails and look at your statements. Be sure you are reading each statement and putting any purchases you have made on your bank and credit card also on the list. Anything that is a one time expense put (1x) next to it. For the monthly expenses put an (M) next to it, and any expenses like car insurance – say your car insurance is $900 and you pay $100 for nine months, code that as (T100/9) which would stand for true expense paying $100 every month for 9 mos. Any credit or debt payments you make just put a (D) next to those.
Break List Down into Categories
Now, take your revised entries and break the list down into three categories – current, true, and debt. Be sure to cross them off the original list as you go. These are all listed put the amount you pay every month next to the current expenses. Take your true expense and list what you pay each month or need to set aside each month so you
have the funds when the bill comes due, and for any debt entries, list the minimum you need to pay next month with the due date next to it as well as the current balance you owe.
Add Any Debt You Currently Hold
Now the expense side of your budget for next month is starting to take shape, but you are a way from its finality Under the debt section, add your debts lowest to the highest balance. It may sound weird, but now I actually understand why I chose this method. As I work down the line paying one off at a time, it gives me the momentum and inspires me to just keep going onto the next one.
Be aware, it takes time to pay off debt and may seem frustrating. It has taken me to finally get down to 7 debt payments from about 20 since 2012, and I am not stressed now as I know where I am now, and where I am going. This is why I start you on the expense side first, you get to see just where you are spending and get to allocate your expenses accordingly.
Subtotal Current/True and Debt Lines
Now, once you have all your expenses categorized take and subtotal each section of expenses. Take a look and notice where all your expenses lie on the form. Take time to really study your expenses and see if you can find just ONE item that you feel you do not really need or are paying for and not using as much as you thought you would.
Contact that company and ask them to cancel their services to you, as you are trying to work out your budget right now and feel you don’t use them enough and just want to save money in this area for now. Not when the last time you used their services was, if you see you have not used them in 2-3 months, see if they will refund the last 3 months to help you with your new budget. You never know until you ASK!! What is the worst thing that can happen, they will say NO! But you don’t know, until you move forward and simply ASK them to do it.
Complete Next Months Budget with Total Expenses
Now total all your subtotal lines, and enter it at the end of the worksheet, This is what you need to be bringing in to support your budget next month. In the next lesson, you will be addressing just what you have to work with now and what anticipating your inflows to next months budget that your tallied the expenses for.
Okay, great job!! Go treat yourself for getting this far – get a coffee and donuts and just CELEBRATE the moment!
Your life depends on the decisions you make. How you manage your money is a major decision. If you build your home without the proper fortifications your home is at risk of being wiped out in the first storm you encounter. At that point you must start all over from scratch, and you may not achieve the necessary experience to properly fortify without being taken down another two or three times.
If at first you don’t success, just get right back up and start again.
Well, I must confess that I, like many others I imagine now, like to think we know it all and financial distress will never affect us. We graduate from high school, some go to college to get more expertise in a field of there choice, others go straight out to work and frankly I can see we don’t really know what we are getting into. I enjoyed working, and was a workaholic of sorts. Yet now I can see I made many foolish financial decisions with my own money.
Those decisions wreaked havoc over time causing my foundation of life to crack and leak. Not realizing the seriousness of my personal finances, I failed not once but three times in the course of my life. The cracks got bigger and bigger each time until finally the structure of my life collapsed into the cracks. Credit cards played a major role at the start of my life, everyone had one it seemed except me, and I asked my stepdad how to build credit to get one.
I wish he had told me straight out – don’t get involved with any credit cards, put your money in savings. But he didn’t, and the rest is history. Perhaps though, I was meant to go down this path to help others see they are not alone, and to help them get out of the cracks of there crumbled foundations and realize it is never too late to wake up and smell the coffee.
Building a strong financial foundation is key.
We seem to take so much until one day we decide we have had enough. Some event or obstacle rolled into our path that seemed to huge or heavy to move and tears us apart inside. Some may call it quits, but that is not the solution as I found out – I decided the third time that was the last time (hopefully) I would go down that path.
In my lowest moment I realized with the help of my stepdad there was only one thing that would help me and that was to start budgeting. I journaled all my available cash into a ledger and then what bills I had left to pay that very night of my stepdad’s pep talk. I remember how excited I was to discover the IRA account I had won over a radio contest in 1999.
It was what I needed to resolve my immediate struggle before me, and I realized I was not 59-1/2 yet so there would be penalties. The bank lady understood and helped me minimize the frustration of the penalties. From that point on, I kept a journal of my income and expenses. Having a budget in place is the key to building a strong financial foundation.
Research the areas you seem to struggle in
Over the next year I found budgeting helped me identify the areas I seemed to struggle in, and began to research other options on the internet. I learned it was not wise to carry all your cards around with you – they are too convenient that way. By the end of the first year I was sitting at my desk doing my taxes when I realized I had done it – improved my status and increased my credit score, while lowering my debt. But could I do it again?
I decided to repeat the year and do the same things, only this time document along the way. I successfully did it once more. If something isn’t working, pose a question in google to seek other possible options you can try. Talk to friends and relatives and see if they have any advice.
With your experience, and new knowledge, begin again.
As I gain new knowledge confronting my financial struggles even today, I find I am building a strong foundation for financial success. Growing up families did not talk about there financial situations openly, it seemed to be a taboo topic of conversation. However it is essential to set aside those old-fashioned ways and open up to talk openly and share our struggles.
There is nothing wrong with seeking help. Nothing wrong with letting our kids know what the families going through financially so they are aware and can make more educated decisions as they grow into adulthood. Keeping up with the Jones’ family is not a good image to follow as that new Corvette in there driveway may not be the status symbol that others think it seems like. It may be a mask of another real issue, they are hiding there true financial state so no one knows they are deeper in trouble financially.
Documentation helps reinforce your progress.
The grass is not always as green as it looks on the other side of the fence, there may be a constant infestation of disaster at the root. So don’t look at what your neighbors or friends are doing or have; but pay attention to your own affairs and seek to live differently by incorporation of a budget that you look at almost every day.
A budget is the documentation that will help reinforce your progress financially, and regular maintenance will help eliminate areas such as debt and enhance other area such as savings.
In conclusion you need a budget to help achieve all your goals and dreams in life. The earlier you start the better. We are all different so find the tool that works best for you whether it be the Everydollar App or open an Excel spreadsheet, or my favorite – and I have tried them all – the software program invented by Jesse Meecham, “You Need a Budget” or better known as YNAB. So, now go research an option that works best for you and get started TODAY fortifying your fortress.
As I look ahead to the new year, I plan to explore new avenues as I engage in my website “Try Wise Budgeting with Donna”. I realize I have come along ways in my blogging pursuits this year – thanks to Wealthy Affiliate, and now I am ready to look forward to starting a new year with you…
Here are a few things I plan to add to my Wise Budgeting website:
- Wise Budgeting Weekly Podcast Series
- A Monthly Newsletter for All Subscribers to Share
- More Pictures and Images in the Post
Continuing from 2019…
I will be publishing a weekly blog post to help you get comfortable budgeting, so you can take control of your finances rather than let money control YOU! When you do that, you only suffer from endless debt problems, and no hope, in the end, it will ever be over. If you are like me, you have dreams – perhaps a trip to Sweden, or visit Disney World for the first time, or tour every state. What are your dreams?
So, for now Wishing All a very Merry Christmas, and a Happier New Year As You take more control of your $$$.
Now check out my first “Welcome to Wise Budgeting – My Weekly Podcast series” debut. See the new menu on my page.
Now It’s YOUR TURN…
What do you hope to learn or get out of a subscription to Wise Budgeting with Donna in the year ahead? Please leave a comment below so I can structure my future series to be more helpful in achieving your financial goals.
Welcome to my blog, “Try Wise Budgeting with Donna”! It opens new doors and friendships with others in the same situation or maybe even worse. This is the place you will learn that it is our choices in life that lead us to the outcomes that come about. If you have made bad ones, Wise Budgeting can help turn things around.
You Are Not Alone!
Perhaps you are wondering how you got yourself in such a predicament financially. Well, I am here to tell you that it is not your fault. Society itself is to blame.. Money for many of us was a taboo subject in many households. Children often grew up thinking about how their family had it all and had no financial worries.
Then we grow up…
Well, This is My Story…
I am Donna Beals, founder of “Try Wise Budgeting with Donna”.
I had been out of high school a year or two and working with my stepdad at his place of business. One afternoon on the way home I asked him, “How does one go about getting good credit?”
He then came out and got me, the bank manager had me fill out paperwork and I got a personal loan of $200. I was to hold onto it and after a month when I got my first statement I was to pay it back and they would send me my first credit card. To maintain good credit, all I had to do is never go over the $200 limit and pay it off every month I got the statement. It all sounded quite easy. I was doing well. Then I started getting mail from credit card companies inviting me to apply for their cards. At one point I had over 12 cards and realized I was over my head.
This was the first of three times I would stumble, each time deeper and deeper. I decided to go talk to the Branch Manager, Sandy Ellis, of the Rockland Credit Union where I had automatic savings taken out of my payroll every week and ask for a personal loan of $5,000.00.
Well, when she called and told me I had been approved I was elated. But one thing stuck in my mind, as she handed me the check, she warned me – “be careful, you will probably be back again for another loan.”
Three years later, I was back at the mercy of my credit cards. This time my stepdad gave me a loan that I had to pay back, as I was declined by the bank for another personal loan. It was October of 1989, I realized I needed to do something to get him paid off – so I talked to my mother and we went to a local restaurant in the Mall seeking wait staff. Their I applied for a part-time job as a waitress.
I got him paid off within the first month and decided to stay on through Christmas. Well, it has been a long Christmas season – I am still there thirty years later, two nights a week.
Then in December of 2007, I stumbled head over heels one more time in debt. I remember getting calls of the threatening nature and feeling scared, little did I know at that time they were just crank calls to try to get my information. I remember emailing my youngest sister I was scared and telling her if anything happened to me, I wanted her to let everyone know I loved them. Then I proceeded to work.
It was the end of January 2008 and it was a snowy morning work that had been delayed starting at noon. I was out shoveling, and my stepdad came out to join me. He sat on the wall and said how my sister came and showed me the note a week before I had sent her and how it upset her. At that moment he asked me “Are you involved with loan sharks?”
I was quick to respond, “No!” And then he told me a story of how my dad got involved with them and how he had to leave mom, my sister and me to protect us. How one can never go back home or have any connection with family again.
This scared me!
That night I took his advice and decided to get all my financials in order. It was quite an undertaking. Suddenly I realized I was in a state of loss, as I organized my debt and income into categories and set up a plan to get all paid up. A year later as I sat getting ready to do my taxes I realized, I had achieved my goal!
Now, could I do it all again?
I took the next year and documented my progress and steps to financial success; and yes – I had done it another year. Another five years, and I was still seeing my finances improve. I called my progress an “Alpha-Omega Advantage” and in the fall of 2015, I decided to start a small meetup group on Tuesday evenings from 7-9 pm in the local Panera Bread.
I started 2-3 blogs, but they kept changing – then I found Wealthy Affiliate and decided to get serious on helping others struggling financially and here I am today with my latest blog, Try Wise Budgeting with Donna, helping unveil the secret to financial success that was never before talked about in our families.
Do you know what that secret is I realized?
Join our community and learn the secret that was never talked about in years past. The secret that can help brighten your future.