Budgeting for a Better 2008
December 18, 2007
Do you make New Year’s resolutions? I used to, until I realized I usually blew it within the first 2-3 weeks. I hate making promises I cannot keep, even if the vows are only to me.
However, I definitely need to do something, if I want to budget for a better 2008. A self-employed divorced mom of two, I am not exactly rolling in dough, and I have a daughter going to college in the next couple of years. Since I went back to college after the divorce, I still haven’t paid off my student loans!
Just this week, I talked to my mom on the phone about her impending retirement. Commiserating with each other, we discuss how to budget for a better 2008. The answer was simple in thought, but it will definitely require a lifestyle change.
Simple: Needs vs. wants
For example, do you stick to the grocery lists, when you are actually in the store? You forgot this, or you want that. According to the plan, if it falls into the want category, or something you can do without, walk away. Even to the last candy bar, if you don’t need it, you can leave it on the shelf.
Now, that is not to say you can never have any treat. But, how much money do you spend on items you can actually live without, and still be happy? I know I would be shocked, if I could total all of my “want” purchases in the last year.
I did not say the plan is easy, but it is a simple and logical idea. Buy what you need, and walk away from what you want.
Another example is a 2nd for half price sale. You need a new pair of shoes. When you go to the shoe store, they are advertising a half price sale. Great! NO!!! Resist the temptation! Get what you NEED and walk away. Even though the second pair is only half price, the price you pay for the 2nd pair is not a need; it is a want. The money could be saved for bills or a rainy day. Walk away!
Today, it may be hard to say “no”; tomorrow, when some of the bills are paid down, or you have some Christmas money in savings, you can justifiably be very proud of yourself. How do you plan on budgeting for a better 2008?
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