Monday, September 2, 2013

Budgeting 101: part 1

Budgeting 101: part 1

By Keith Bunn Jr.
September 2, 2013

The Act of doing a Budget

Doing a budget each and every month is key to a healthy financial plan. I don't care how old you are, how much money you make, whether you're a man or a woman, or single or married. If you're struggling with money, that could be the biggest reasons why. 
It was our problem too! For years, we were living paycheck to paycheck. All the money came in and it all went right back out just as fast, sometimes faster! Then we did our first budget and it was like we had a V8 moment when we realized that not only did we have enough money coming in each week to eat, pay our bills, and put gas in the cars to get back and forth to work, but we had a surplus! At first, we felt like we got a raise when we saw the surplus on our budget, but then we started to wonder, "Where'd all that money go?" We had absolutely nothing to show for the amount of money we saw on that sheet of paper, other than having financial stress because we didn't have a plan.
Now we do a monthly budget each and every month, BEFORE the month begins. And because we are now doing a budget, we have to date, paid off just under $71,000 of our debt. It took us a while to do that and we're not done yet, but we couldn't have gotten close to paying off that amount if we didn't do a budget, if we didn't have a plan!

Why People don't do a Budget

I've heard tons of reason why people don't do a budget. The biggest reason I've come across is because the person just doesn't want to do one. They don't want to take the time to do it or they think they won't be able to do the things they like to do if they do one. 
The next reason is that is they just don't know how to do one. Even though writing out a budget is fairly simple, no one sat that person down and said, "This is what you have to do..." So the whole thought of doing a budget is intimidating to them. They didn't want to look stupid so they just wouldn't do one. By the way, that one was me!
Another reason would be just plan fear. Fear that their situation is worst than they thought. They'd see tons of envelopes sitting on their desk or kitchen table and just feel completely overwhelmed, so they would ignore the pile and watch it grow over time.
The last reason I'll list here is that they haven't found any kind of software that best suits their situation. Really? I think that's the worst reason of them all!

Tell Your Money Where to Go

John Maxwell said it best! He said, "A budget is nothing more than telling your money where to go, instead of wondering where it went." I love that quote, and in this series, I will go over how to do a budget. Regardless if your single or have a family, one income or multiple, and even if you have an irregular one, I'll go over what you need to know to start doing a budget and finally start winning with money.

The reason I do this is to give people hope and to try to inspire others. To make them think about their finances, whether they are young or old, so they can win financially.
If you have any questions for me about my posts or if you need help learning how to live on less than you make and creating a budget, you can call me at (616) 454-2046 or e-mail me at I’d be happy to do what I can to help! 
You can also find more money news, facts and ideas, on my Facebook and/or Twitter pages. I'd be grateful if you followed me. Thank you!

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