Tag Archives: Budgeting

ABOUT LAST NIGHT… 

HERE’S THE REPLAY LINK TO LAST NIGHT’S SCOPE “SESH”

https://www.periscope.tv/w/aW6uPDFheWpWWUFkcExLcHJ8MVlxeG96WURWdmtKdsV4Vt7DrhBljltbBi-yv0ImbZzrRXOYwp-6bOqvxu0x
~The Financial Hack ©2015

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LET’S TALK THE “B” WORD… BUDGETING!

budget

Oh no… The dreaded “B” word. BUDGETING. Some people are offended by it. For others, it comes naturally like eating and sleeping or walking and talking. There was once a time, well a few times actually, when you would never hear me utter the words, “That’s not in the budget,” but I find myself saying it quite often now and for good cause. Here are a few reasons why incorporating the “B” word into your daily lexicon isn’t such a bad thing after all.

  1. BUDGETING HELPS YOU ESTABLISH CLEAR GOALS: Is it your goal to start paying off financial debt? Is it to start your own business? What about a vacation in Belize this year? How about establishing an emergency fund or as I like to call it, a “shit happens account?” Do you plan to invest more this year?  What about saving for your child’s college education, or perhaps saving for a down payment on a home? Budgeting makes these goals possible.
  2. BUDGETING GIVES EVERY DOLLAR A PURPOSE: By budgeting, you tell each dollar where to go, therefore giving you control over your money. There’s no guessing how much money you can save this month or how much you can save from this pay check, that sale, etc. IT’S RIGHT THERE ON PAPER… AND IT’S DONE EACH MONTH. Budgeting keeps you on task. Think of it as a map to your financial freedom. That’s part of the purpose right? You can’t reach an unknown destination without following a map or guide to point you and keep you moving in the right direction.
  3. BUDGETING HELPS BUILD HEALTHY RELATIONSHIPS REGARDING MONEY: Spouses and partners who budget may feel more as equals in the relationship as opposed to one person being responsible for how the monthly income is spent. THE COUPLE THAT BUDGETS TOGETHER STAYS TOGETHER. Keep in mind the majority of marriages/partnerships end not because of infidelity, but because of money issues. Having a monthly “sit down” to discuss your finances is a good way to keep the lines of communication open and flowing. Not only can this method be beneficial to spouses/partners, but to parents and their children. Allow your child(ren) to have some input regarding the monthly budget (although they don’t of course get the final say.) By doing so, you are teaching them financial literacy at an early age and allowing them some level of autonomy regarding the household finances at the same time.
  4. BUDGETING HELPS IDENTIFY “TROUBLE” AREAS AND/OR BLINDSPOTS: Perhaps you’re spending too much money on entertainment or realize you have more discretionary income than you thought you did. Perhaps after reviewing your budget from last month, you’re not saving enough money to reach a financial goal. Budgeting can easily help you identify those trouble areas/blindspots so you can make any necessary adjustments.
  5. BUDGETING HELPS YOU FORM HEALTHY HABITS IN OTHER AREAS OF YOUR LIFE: Once you get into the habit of budgeting your money each month, other habits will begin to form as well. Perhaps you weren’t very organized until you started budgeting monthly. Now that you are, you may begin to notice yourself writing “To Do” lists, decluttering and organizing your space therefore decluttering your life. You may notice a shift in your mindset where subjects or topics that were once important to you, no longer hold its value in your thought process. You may even find yourself spending less time with friends/acquaintances you once had. Budgeting can manifest itself in the form of “reprogramming” the mind. I may be “reaching” here for some, but in the grand scheme of things for those who have experienced a change in your “financial mindset,” you may or have experienced this change in mindset and can truly relate. Change is good.
Keep in mind, for your budget to work, you’ve got to put it to work. It won’t be easy in the beginning, but stick to it. Stay the course. Some behaviors will have to be learned, others, unlearned and in some cases, totally forgotten. To create a budget and not follow it through is surely a lesson in futility, but I know that’s not you. NO WAY! You haven’t come this far to stop and turn around. There’s nowhere to go but up from here.
Click on the “Worksheets” tab of my website to download the Monthly Cash Flow/Zero-Based Budget Worksheets to get you started, or you can click the link below.
~The Financial Hack (copyright 2015)

2016 IS HERE: THOU SHALT NOT WASTETH TIMETH!!!

  
January 1st. The start of a new year. A new beginning. 2015 is in the past. Blah blah blah. You’ve heard it. I certainly have, and now that we’ve had our New Year 2016 pep talk, IT’S TIME TO GET TO WORK!

THOU SHALT NOT WASTETH TIMETH!!!

In the “Financial Fitness Boot Camp” postings on my website as well as in our Periscope chats, I’ve stressed the importance of financial independence and freedom. It is my prayer that those that are “in this to win this” will fully commit to their financial journey and not just “come along for the ride.” Achieving and maintaining financial independence is an ongoing process. You’ll hear the “F” word… A LOT. FINANCES is the purpose of this entire blog. I’ve actually dropped FIVE “F” bombs already. You’ll hear the “D” word just as much. DISCIPLINE is not to be taken with a grain of salt…Not with what we (yes WE), are about to do. To obtain and maintain financial independence (there’s the “F” word again) and peace, discipline has to be a part of the equation. When I speak of discipline, I’m not just speaking of financial discipline, (well mostly I am), but discipline in ALL areas of your life. Discipline can be incorporated into your daily routine. Forming habits such as becoming more productive, exercising daily, becoming better organized or using your time wisely to name a few, can be attributed to employing discipline.

You’ll hear me say the “P”  word too. PLANNING of course. How can you execute any project without a plan? Simple tasks require planning. Maybe not sophisticated planning, but planning to some extent is still needed nonetheless. Reaching financial independence requires a plan… A BIG PLAN! And let’s certainly not forget the “B” and “S” words. That’s right, BUDGETING and SAVING. Those are the “Queen Mothers” of words that not too many people like to hear when it comes to their finances which may be in shambles. The truth HURTS.

Now that your finances have been “verbally assaulted,” Welcome to Financial Fitness Boot Camp.

So you see, the purpose of this blog really wasn’t to give you an overview of what to expect in the weeks, months or possibly years to come. You can peruse the website for that. This blog posting served the following purpose:

FINANCE (MONEY): In relation to THIS BLOG POSTING, time is money. My money. Point blank period.

DISCIPLINE: Writing this blog posting on New Year’s Day even though there are a million other things I could be doing instead? That’s discipline. Enough said.

PLANNING: Although I didn’t know exactly what I would say or how I would say it because I like to freestyle and let the thoughts come to me as they flow oh so eloquently while I speak poetically as my fingertips tickle the keyboard…. (insert chuckle here), this was a planned post.

BUDGETING AND SAVING: I had to “budget” my time in NOT being so long-winded which I have a tendency to do and “saving” some of my “financial rhetoric” for future posts.

As you can see, I love using analogies when writing. 

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

~The Financial Hack ©2015

NEXT SCOPE: SATURDAY NOVEMBER 28th

  
ATTENTION SCOPERS!!!! Next “LIVE” PERISCOPE BROADCAST Saturday, November 28th from 1-2pm CST. I’ll be starting GoalDiggers Boot Camp 101: DISCIPLINE IS KEY. 

I’ll also be finishing up questions I didn’t answer last week regarding CREDIT. JOIN ME as we “Whip Your Finances Into Shape!” 

Email your questions to me at AndreaColeman@TheFinancialHack.com 

SEE YOU THERE!!! 

CLASS IS IN SESSION: NERDS VS FREE SPIRITS

schools_in_session

I know I’m behind on my postings regarding Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University. If you’re new to this blog, I explained I was taking this class to reinforce what I already knew about finance and to learn additional principles and new techniques and to simply see a picture of financial freedom through someone else’s eyes. Now, I don’t claim to know EVERYTHING about finance, but I do know how to handle money. Although I was irresponsible with it when I was younger, I promise you, I’ve got a GOOD GRASP on my money now. More like I’ve got in a “headlock.”

Even though we are in our FOURTH WEEK of Financial Peace University, and I did tell you I would post weekly about my takeaways from each class session, I thought I’d better get you guys up to speed…. There’s so much information and so many thoughts and ideas running around in my head, I can’t wait to share them with you, but “baby steps” I must take. I thought about bringing you guys up to speed in this one blog, but I get so excited and passionate about the possibility of helping someone else, I’ve got to literally blog one class session at a time. I’ve been known to be quite long-winded when blogging, so brevity shall be my focus. I’ll save the wind-bag for my book.

NERDS VS FREE SPIRITS.

Think about that for a minute and if you ponder it long enough, you can figure out which is which. What may surprise you is which category you fall into. Or not. I knew I was a NERD before we even completed the questionnaire. I answered 9/10 questions, NERD. Yep. 100% Grade “A” NERD. And I wasn’t surprised.

NERDS are your “do it by the book” kind of people as it relates to money. They set goals, create budgets and follow them to a tee. If you’re married to a NERD, the NERD can create a monthly budget and tell you, “There’s no need to discuss this, it’s correct. BECAUSE I CREATED IT.”  The FREE SPIRIT… Not so much. FREE SPIRITS are just that, FREE SPIRITS and they don’t like to be micro-managed and told what to do especially when it comes to money. I’m not in any way suggesting FREE SPIRITS are careless and irresponsible with money. A FREE SPIRIT will take care of their necessities and save as well, but what’s “left over” is theirs to play with. If the FREE SPIRIT sees something they wish to purchase, a piece of art, home décor, tools from Home Depot or whatever tickles their fancy, if their business is handled, they feel entitled to do so, and technically, they most certainly are. The problem is, the rigid, strict by the book Taurus (strike that,) I mean NERD, may become frustrated and deem the FREE SPIRIT as being frivolous. Quite the opposite.

When I was married, my ex-husband and I had many disagreements over finances. He was a FREE SPIRIT. He was the type that wanted a front loading washer and dryer when there was absolutely NOTHING wrong with the washer and dryer we had. He did his part and contributed, but when it came to saving, I felt he could have done more. It was more like me telling him “YOU NEED TO DO MORE!!!” Yes, those caps lock were intentional. We all know the majority of marriages that end in divorce do so not because of infidelity but because of money issues. Now money wasn’t the only issue my marriage faced. It just seemed to be at the forefront of every argument. I was trying to build and save and it seemed as though all he wanted was to do was spend.

One would think a union between a NERD and a FREE SPIRIT is an unlikely one, but that simply is not true. As long as there is a little thing called BALANCE and COMPROMISE, it can work. There have to be some discussions about money and budgets… You have to discuss who’s going to handle making sure the household bills are paid monthly, how much you intend to save, and where your money is going. AND YOU CERTAINLY DON’T WAIT UNTIL AFTER YOU SAY “I DO” TO HAVE “THE TALK” ABOUT YOUR FINANCES. Lay all your cards on the table. YOU ARE A TEAM and as the saying goes, “There’s no “I” in team.”

TIPS FOR THE NERD: Once you’ve meticulously prepared your ZERO monthly budget (meaning all monies for the month are accounted for.) When you subtract monthly bills, household/car expenses, entertainment, etc. even down to your FREE SPIRIT’S “play money,” you should have a zero balance because all income for the month, yes EVERY penny, is accounted for. In a perfect world for the NERD, the FREE SPIRIT agrees to, signs off on the budget and the round table discussion is over. Umm Errm. It’s not that simple. If you attempt to force a budget you’ve prepared on them, your FREE SPIRIT will probably have some FREE CHOICE WORDS for you. Here’s how you side-step a potential land mine:

DEAR NERDS,

Present your budget to the FREE SPIRIT FIRST, explain why you believe certain changes if any should be made, THEN SIT DOWN AND SHUT THE HELL UP! As Dave Ramsey said during the webinar, the NERD has approximately 17min27sec of a FREE SPIRIT’S attention, then they’re totally checked out. (HOLLA IF YA HEAR ME!!!) Your budget meeting doesn’t have to turn into a weekend summit where you don’t leave the kitchen table until a resolution is agreed upon. Allow your FREE SPIRIT the chance to give their input and my precious NERDS, LISTEN TO THEM. Don’t be so quick to dismiss their ideas and suggestions, otherwise, that may be your first and last budget meeting.

TIPS FOR THE FREE SPIRIT: Yes your NERD tap dances on your last good nerve every time there’s a meeting regarding money. Understand, your NERD doesn’t mean to be bossy and unreasonable (hopefully not,) it’s just that they want to be secure and financially stable, not just for themselves, but for the both of you. Remember. YOU ARE A TEAM. Compromise. For example. Are you able to cut your play money to $300 a month as opposed to the $500 a month you’ve allotted to appease the NERD? The NERD may have originally suggested cutting your play money to $250 a month. You countered and suggested $300. By compromising, the FREE SPIRIT STILL has a significant amount of money to play with, and the NERD is happy because they got their way (which was reducing the amount of your play money to contribute more towards savings.) This is how successful budgeting in relationships should work. It should always be a WIN-WIN situation for both the NERD and the FREE SPIRIT.

happy-couple

Remember: HAVE DISCUSSIONS, FIND A MIDDLE GROUND AND COMPROMISE. You’ll have a much happier and successful marriage when you do.

Whelp. So much for the brevity I aimed for. I pray you enjoyed this blog posting just the same. Wishing you much success on your financial journey.

~The Financial Hack ©2015

TIP TUESDAY: Did You Know?

YOU CAN ORDER A “SHORT” SIZE OF YOUR FAVORITE COFFEE (OR DRINK) AT STARBUCKS?   

The 8oz “short” size as compared to the 12oz “tall” size is Starbucks’ best kept secret. You’ll never see it on the menu (and probably never will) so be sure to ask for it specifically when ordering. The “short” is a STEP DOWN from the 12oz “tall” which most think is the chain’s smallest size. Not true. “Java Junkies” like myself already knew about the “short,” but usually go for the Venti or even the Trenta . For those who may be “trimming the fat” from their budgets and not yet ready to eighty-six the gourmet coffee experience all together, ordering the “short” size satisfies the gourmet coffee experience without blowing the budget. For a few extra coins, go ahead and ask for an extra shot… Of expresso that is. ENJOY! 

~The Financial Hack ©2015