Just a couple of words that come to mind (but there are many more I know!), when we hear the word budgeting.
This is an extremely difficult and troubling subject for most people. Similar to one dragging their nails down a blackboard. After all, we need money for almost everything and there is never to go around.
We need it to live — to buy food, clothes, put a roof over our head …….
We need it for medical purposes — dentists, doctors/alternative practitioners, medication, glasses ……
We need it to pay bills — hydro, gas, insurance, taxes, phone, water, cable, cell phone ….
We need it for haircuts, for personal items, to buy cars, for lawyers ….
We need it for enjoyment — meals out, entertainment, presents…
The list is endless for sure but, people tend to make budgeting a LOT more stressful than need be. It’s true, we need money for everything, but we need to control it, not let it control us.
So what does that entail?
It boils down to these key factors:
- the desire to want your finances under control
- making the decision to take control
- being organized
- making a plan that works for your particular situation
- having the discipline to stick to that plan
It might be difficult at first, but it’s really no different than getting anything else under control and so worth it in the end.
We were a family of five and for a period of time, not only lived on $1,000.00 per month but did it without accumulating any debt. Part of that time, we even had one child away at university. Was it difficult? You betcha it was — but we did it and what an exhilarating feeling to come out on the other side, having successfully crushed that chaos!
I had more than one banker question how we were able to live on so little. They were genuinely perplexed and curious at how we managed it. They recounted example after example of doctors, lawyers and other higher income earners they had as clients who couldn’t make ends meet — yet we were doing it, debt-free, on a fraction of their income.
How did we do this, you ask? Too much to cover effectively in one post so stay tuned! In my next post, (which I will link to here) I’ll share just how we did that as well as tips for helping you get your financial life in check.