You have to have a budget!!
A written down, black and white budget.
It took me until last year to actually come to this conclusion!
It makes you accountable.
I think that's the biggest thing!
And also, it is what showed me that I was spending way more than my monthly income!
When I finally woke up to that fact, I sent for Dave Ramsey's book, "Total Money Makeover" to help!
I had been listening to his program on the radio and online for a few months and knew I had to get rid of my credit card debt first.
No wonder I didn't realize what I was spending.
Using credit cards doesn't seem like you're really spending your cash!
As far as my monthly income goes;
I'm not counting my savings and what is in the stock market. My monthly income is just that.
Social security, my pension, my husband's partial pension (which was quite a bit larger when he was alive of course,) plus another benefit from my husband's police and fire group. The biggest amount comes from interest on a note I'm holding from selling our FL house.
I had to decide what categories that I should have listed on my budget.
Here are my categories for Expenses:
•Housing, which includes: heat, electricity, phones, cable/satellite, lawncare/winter plowing,
house cleaning, plumber, garden, handyman
•Transportation: (all things car)
•Food: groceries and restaurant
•Lifestyle: personal, misc., pets, vet, horse board
•Insurance and taxes
Yes, Housing is the big category and adds up to be the most money,
but groceries is the second and I think that's the one I can do much better at.
Here are some things to consider:
#1. I'm 73 and can't do as much as I used to do so I have to have some help.
So that is the reason for house cleaning once a month, handyman, lawn care and snowplowing.
#2. It is a lot more expensive to live in the country.
So let me know what you think about my budget.
And tomorrow we'll start on ways I'm working to cut my expenses.