02 September 2014

Financial Success: Getting Started Pt. 1


Have you ever noticed how hard it can be to save?  Maybe you really want to get that car but just can’t afford it? When was the last time you went on a family vacation? Unfortunately, money does not grow on trees, but there is a way to make your money last. It is called a budget. 

Creating a budget is easy, but sticking to a budget is the tricky part. Here is something to think about…all businesses, organizations and governments operate on a budget, so maybe it is time for you to join the movement.

What is a budget? If you want to get technical it is an “estimate of income and expenditure for a set period of time” but what does this mean for you?  When you create a budget, it is a way for you to plan your future expenses. It allows you to track your expenses, see where you are spending money, and an overall better way to track your finances.  A budget is a tool to get you to the financial grace-land.

How do you budget? A budget has multiple categories, such as mortgage/rent, car payments, gas, groceries, and maybe a rainy day fund. Initially you will want to sit down and spend time figuring out how much you spend on each category. Have a vacation fund or a rainy day fund? It is good to have these funds in case any unforeseeable circumstances happen…which they usually do. You want to make sure if and when you tap into these funds for any reason that you have a plan to replenish them.

Can you keep to the budget? The hardest part about a budget is not making it. It is keeping to the budget.  It is easy to tap into that money you have been saving with the thought of “oh just this one time.” That is the type of thinking that will get you in trouble. Once you have a budget you have to fully commit to it. Now if you have a rainy day fund and you car breaks down, that’s when you tap into it. You need your car to get to work, to get your kids to school and so forth. If the ends justify the means then go for it, but at the same time you want to remember that you need to put the money back in that fund.

At first having and keeping to a budget might be intimidating, but you can do this. Think of the end game…Are you saving for a house or a new car? If you stick to your budget, you will get there.

When did you decide it was time to set a budget? What motivates you to budget and save money?

Comment below or join the discussion here and connect within the military community.

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