Sitting back after the Christmas festivities with family and friends, we need a day to just sit back, relax and do nothing. This will leave you in a better place for what’s coming up in a week – a BRAND NEW YEAR with renewed goals and new ones as well.
You need this time to just sit back and do nothing, and perhaps you may just decide to stay in your pajamas and watch television and chill – it is okay, as you have put a lot of miles on your daily routine to prepare for these holidays, now it is time to unwind.
Time to Review Your Finances
Now that you took a day or two to just chill, it is time to review your finances again. Within a few short days, a new year will be upon us and we will be packing up our old records from this year and filing that annual report with the government. Some of us will owe Uncle Sam and others will get back money from out dear Uncle.
Note Where You Have Been the Strongest
As you review your budget worksheets for each month of the current year and get them ready for tax season ahead by extracting necessary information and documents to support your facts, note what you have accomplished and done quite well this year. Give yourself a pat on the back – you deserved it!
I have to say I can see how I have got better at sticking with my commitment last year to stay on top the recording of payments and income to understand better where my $$$ are going. Before I just kept seeing income coming in the front door and escaping out the back faster than I could keep up with it.
Now What Was “Your Weakest Link”
Equally important as noting where you are strongest and growing, is discovering where your weakest link lies in your budgeting skills. Where can you do better? Our money tends to figure out fast where that weakest point is, and how it can gain control of your senses – doesn’t yours?
As I go over each month’s budget for this year, there are two areas that seem to be where a lot of money goes to hide. My money knows I like to eat and patronize the restaurants, so I see it tends to frequent those areas of my budget more heavily. This is the weakest link in my budget, and my goal is to be debt-free so someday I can eat and not worry about paying off debt.
As we get ready to define our purpose for budgeting, we must take out the weakest links and negotiate with them. Don’t totally eliminate something you love to do, but it seems to be your weakest link – just start giving it some direction in the new year. Since eating is my weakness, and necessary in moderation, I notice I lumped groceries and dining out together towards the end of this year – I am separating those categories and plan to give groceries a $30-50 a week budget. Dining out I will give $20-25 a budget and limit it to once a week.
Redefine Your Purpose
Now it is time to redefine your purpose – why have a budget? It is your life, and setting financial goals for the New Year should be challenging enough to keep you on a budget and highly involved in daily check-ups. This is and should be different for all of us, as we are all different and have different needs for fulfillment.
As I write this article I want to share my purpose for having a budget and keeping it, is that someday I want to see a time when all debts are paid in full and being able to free up the funds I set aside each and every month to keep the minimum debt payments satisfied. This is what I will put on the cover of my New Year Budget to remind me every day of that purpose I am committed to – what is yours?
Finalize Your New Financial Planner
Now you are ready to create and finalize your new financial planner for 2020. I have created an Excel workbook that is easy to manage. Just add all the immediate obligations you have every month that do not change under the first column, do the same for true expenses – other bills you pay but less frequently.
If you have a student loan or mortgage, though technically it is debt – include that under your immediate obligations, and list any loans or credit cards in the debt section smallest to largest. Once you have all your categories, tab to the end so you can see the category as you enter what you expect to pay and received income under the first Budget heading. Do not enter the Actual or Difference, these will automatically calculate as you enter in the daily figures.
OK, I would like to send “My 2020 Income-Expense Budget Planner Workbook – For You” (Beta Version) FREE OF CHARGE to get you started – just enter your information in the section to the right to request YOUR workbook TODAY!