As we watched with our eyes glued to the television, and our ears tuned in to the frequency of national economic recovery, we here in America had a voracious appetite for news. The stock market madness would come to a close, and the chaos furthered by educated, but misguided stock market predictions would end.
If we have learnt anything, it is that basic, conservative self-planning, and not blind acceptance of other people's economic predictions, is what will get us through safely to achieve personal economic recovery.
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Gladiator Your 2017 Budget With Proactive Participation
Remember, we are in another era that requires each individual to govern their own household in response to economic war. All members of our households should be involved, for without their cooperation, your efforts will be doomed. Consult with your soldiers (family): give your spouse and children time to digest this need to cut costs. Remember, a visual representation of how a well-thought out battle plan can help you to survive, even when the odds are against you.
The only difference is that no one is out to kill you, Maximus! Once you and your troops have discussed items that must go, it is ok to huddle together and grieve for luxuries and pleasures that will no longer be a part of your life. In fact, make a time-table, make time for family talks, and allow everyone to openly grieve- in person is best. There is nothing that heals and comforts more than family events.
If you are a single person, make more time for yourself. Go to a pet shop to look, and play with your favorite animals, call a friend to say hello, make a list of chores that have to be done that you have been keeping off for a while. What about rearranging your apartment or house to let in more light? It has been proven to work wonders for morale.
As you know, there is no shame in changing your spending strategy. Don't be afraid to let go of certain personal posessions that you do not need to survive while streamlining your 2017 daily, weekly, monthly, and quarterly budget. Your emotional, spiritual, and physical survival during rough times is more crucial to maintain.
Be reassured that it is ok, and healthy, for everyone to grieve, and there is no end date to the grieving process. Just so long as your troops are in it with you, this bond will tide you through.
However, remember that this is only a temporary set-back. Take whatever action is necessary, including cutting up all credit cards except one for emergencies.
In other words, plan. Plan ahead. Keep revising your plan if you have to. The worst thing to do is to stick to your first drawn out plan, even though it no longer suits your purpose or need. This is your proactive contribution toward economic recovery.
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After reviewing the above, do you believe you need to budget more efficiently? First, recognize which economic pole is more reflective of our own budget. If you need to streamline your budget, please do not hesitate to do so, post haste! If you can afford to spend, spend, spend, then do so!! The spend or save economic poles can be easily identified if you have savings equal to three months' worth of paychecks.
Skip the next section if you are a budget guru, or do not need to budget.
Here's how you start- by writing 3 itemized lists:
- things we regularly spend money on every day, week, and month.
- things we absolutely need and,
- things we can live without.
However, while undergoing a budget, it is extremely important to reward yourself in a small way at least once a month, for sticking to your budget. Notice I did not say to buy something expensive. Ideally, this reward item should be slightly more expensive than an everyday need item. How about a medium sized bar of your favorite chocolate, or a pint of your favorite ice cream? And how about taking time to slowly savor it while you watch your favorite show or movie?
You've got it! It's all about taking time to smell the roses, even when there are no roses to smell!! It's the little things that count a lot, now. Create a 'roses' experience for yourself, and make yourself feel great while
taking care of your financial health. Isn't it a relief to know that a budget need not be a tyrant that spells doom and gloom? Now let's get down to business.
Record and Track Your Expenses
Next, record every item purchased at the end of each day- this is your daily budget. Keep track of all your expenses. Total these expenses at the end of each week- this is your weekly budget. Total these weekly expenses at the end of the month- this is your monthly budget.
Remember, you cannot multiply your weekly expenses by 4 weeks to get an accurate total of your monthly expenses. You need to write down your expenses daily, then weekly, etc, because expenses may not always be the same from week to week. Look for a pattern.
Not too many people have expenses that remain the same from month to month. Who would be on a fixed income? Retired persons, and people on some form of aid, usually. With the way the economy is going, pretty soon, a large number of the American population from all walks of life will fit pretty nicely into this previously considered stigmatized category.
Don't shop on an empty stomache. You must feel satisfied on your way to the store. The urge to buy snack foods and luxury items is worse when you are feeling hungry.
Don't forget to go to the grocery store or shopping, with a list. Resist all temptations or, revelations such as "Oh, I need this anyway!" There is a good reason why that item is not on your list- You dont really need it.
Contact your credit card companies ahead of the payment due dates, inform them of your situation. Most credit card companies will be glad to hear from you, and willing to help a responsible person such as yourself.
Give yourself a week, then review your spending. Did you follow the suggestions and tips faithfully? You won't be able to, the first time around. It's very much like dieting- it takes practice and dedication. Go back to your expenses list. Do you see something on your budget list that you now recognize as a 'luxury' item? Cross it off. Follow your revised spending list. To do so is the mark of a successful budget General.
Together, we will eventually contribute responsibly toward the national economic recovery effort, spenders and savers alike.
Copyright 2002-2017. Iris Turner is a published author on Microsoft LED Digest, and also the New Jersey Professional Services Group. As a Search Engine Optimization Specialist, an economic strategist, and a customer-focused product marketer, her articles empower consumers and businesses. To contact her for a budget assessment or to get permission to reprint this particular newsletter as an article, send e-mails to:firstname.lastname@example.org
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