One of best things I ever did for myself was learn what a budget was and how it could help me. A budget got me on track and moving towards my goals. A budget today keeps me on track.
So where to begin.
Begin where I began.
- Know where you are at. You have to know what you have and don’t have. When I had to sit down and face my reality, it helped me to be more realistic. Track your habit for 30 days, gather up those bank statements, and look at what they are showing you. Do you notice any trends. If you are bouncing checks, not saving, not paying the bills, yet spending on junk you know you have an issue and that is where I was.
- So now you know, Get the resources to help you. For me this was forced on me with my bankruptcy, there were forms to be filled out every month and I had to keep track of how I spent every penny. Now, one of my mentors while I was going through all this was the amazing wonderful Gail VazOxlade. On her blog she has some excellent resources for tracking, and doing the things that will help you like office in the box. Gail’s guide to building a budget takes you through it step by step. I highly recommend it. These days I have been using Mint.com to track my budget.
- Got the resources, Set a date. We all like to put off those chores we don’t like and many people see a budget as just that a chore, so set a date. Plan a time when you can sit down and get to work. Setting a deadline often helps you get to a goal as well.
So you have your budget. Great, now comes the hard part, keeping it. For me my budget is like a roadmap that is keeping me on the road I want to travel. I have a destination I want to reach and my budget is a tool that will help me get there. Budgeting works for me, it helps this scatterbrained spendthrift stay on task, it focuses me. What does budgeting do for you?