COMFORTABLE LIVING WITH A SMALL BUDGET
Many Americans struggle to make ends meet each month. Even those who were previously considered “well off” are looking for ways to cut spending. By taking the time to create a budget, you can avoid ongoing financial struggles and worries that might plague you.
Having a budget means looking at your spending in a way that avoids excessive debt and setting realistic goals for spending and saving. With a workable budget, you can avoid the ongoing stress that comes with debt and actually enjoy your life. A workable, comfortable budget is something that can vary from person to person, so it’s important for each person to determine what “convenient” means to them as they step into the budgeting process.
Set goals and have a plan
For some, having enough money for a weekend getaway a few times a year may be a goal. For others, eating out once a week or doing a little unnecessary shopping once a month may be a pleasure. Understanding how to get the most from your money without worrying about important bills is the key to living happily within a set budget.
No matter where you live, the culture that surrounds you affects the way you think about money. It’s this culture that helps dictate what you consider comfortable living. When everyone you know drives around in a new $70,000 Tesla while still commuting in your 9-year-old Honda Civic, you’ll notice the difference. But does this discrepancy matter to you? Maybe you prefer a good book to an $80 movie for 2 (after popcorn and soda) or a barbecue in the backyard to dinner at a 4-star restaurant. Where your priorities lie is a crucial factor in determining your spending.
60 Day Challenge
Track every dollar you spend over the next 60 days. Log every Starbucks coffee, phone app subscription, meal, and candy bar you buy. After 60 days, go through each item and ask yourself if that was the best use of that money. You may be very surprised by the results.
Look at your bills/expenses for the past month and note areas where you could save. Do you need a $4 coffee every day from the barista on the corner, or can you make your own at home (and save about $20 a week)? Can you save more by packing a lunch, using public transportation, or shopping in bulk? Take a look around and you’ll be amazed at what you can save each month.
Be content, not sacrificed
Finally, notice what many experts refer to as “thrifty fatigue.” Being over-conscious of your spending can itself become a problem if it goes to the other extreme… a sudden, unnecessary waste. It’s important to recognize financial exhaustion when it starts to affect you. If you’re tired of analyzing every dollar you spend, take a moment to consider the satisfaction and stability you’ll feel knowing you have some money for an emergency or planned expense put away before you wreck your budget efforts.
Stick to that budget! If you still feel like you have to “spend,” drop by for a $4 cup of coffee once a week and settle for the extravagance for now.
Bond & Botes helps people struggling with debt
We are local and offer a free confidential personal consultation with an experienced lawyer. We also offer free consultations from the comfort and security of your home or office via phone and/or video if you wish. Let us solve your financial problems. There is no commitment, and that means no downside in gathering the information you need to make good decisions about how to break the cycle of debt stress and move forward. We can answer all of your questions regarding Chapter 7 bankruptcy, Chapter 13 bankruptcy, ending a foreclosure or wage garnishment, avoiding liens, terminating lawsuits, settling medical debt, personal loans, payday loans, credit card debt, etc. We can relieve your stress! We want to help and we can help you!
Bond, Botes, Sykstus, Tanner & McNutt, PC
102 South Court St, Suite 314, Florence, AL 35630
Phone: 256-760-1010 • Fax: 256-760-1023
Office Hours: Monday – Friday • 8am to 5pm
No representation is made that the quality of legal services to be provided will be higher than the quality of legal services to be provided by other attorneys.