The Sweetest Thing Ever…..

Written by: 
Endora Todd, Executive Director of Financial Services at Daymar Colleges Group

The best thing about Valentine’s Day is being showered with candy, flowers, cards and other gifts of love What if you could shower yourself with money during this Season of Love?  Sounds good to me!!  But most people don’t know where or how to start. 

The answer was simple for me…create a budget and stick to it.

This was nothing new to me.  I had created a budget in the past and it just hadn’t worked for me and my situation. The solution: I had to change my way of thinking. As a single working mom, I had to figure out that it wasn’t my income that was entirely the issue in me not saving money; it was how I was spending my money as well.  Yes, I had to give myself a reality check and be honest about my spending habits. Be honest with yourself about your spending habits. 

Let me tell you how I did it.

  1. Create a budget- There are a host of free online budget tools that will let you SEE how you are spending your money.  I like https://www.practicalmoneyskills.com/calculators/  . It was important to track EVERY expense from rent or mortgage to the occasional trip to the local fast food restaurant.  Hint: Housing expenses should never exceed 1/3 of the household income.
  1. Include a required savings each month- Most financial experts agree that you should save at least 10% of your income each month and DON’T TOUCH IT!!!

(source; http://money.cnn.com/retirement/guide/basics_basics.moneymag/index7.htm)

  1. Evaluate where you can cut corners- Did I really need all the premium cable movie channels?  Do I really have to eat out for lunch?  BTW the answer to all these questions and others I asked is …NO.
  1. Negotiate with any past and/or current creditors- You will be surprise if you call and let them know you are “unhappy” with your terms; most businesses will work with you…That’s how I got my cell phone bill with unlimited everything and 4 lines at $100 bucks…. J I called and let them know that I was unhappy with my rates.  I was surprised to find that they wanted to work with me…
  1. Cook at home – This saved me as much as $10 a meal; plus the added benefit of eating healthier…Hey, I lost some weight and that is always a sweet deal.
  1. Stick to your budget!!
  1. Compare your budget month over month and Repeat Step #3-#7- Compare the budget month over month and Repeat Step #3-#7-When I compared what I spent from month to month, I saw where other costs could be cut and any expenses that should be accounted for in the future.

When I followed these steps, I found I had extra money in my bank account each month.  As a result, I was able to save more money then I originally budgeted.   Now, that is the Sweetest Thing Ever…..

 

The views and opinions expressed above are those of the author and do not represent the views and opinions of Daymar College