- The Wisdom Journal - http://www.thewisdomjournal.com/Blog -
Rejuvenating Your Budget
Posted By Ron On March 31, 2010 @ 4:45 AM In Budgets,Frugality,Saving Money | Comments Disabled
The Life Skills Network  bloggers got together and decided that we would post a group project for the Spring. Our topic? Rejuvenation. After all, it IS springtime!
To rejuvenate is defined as
to make young or youthful again : give new vigor to : to restore to an original or new state : to stimulate : to uplift : to renew : : to make like new : restore to freshness
Photo by jody9 
Could your personal spending plan (your budget ) use some renewal, some new vigor, or some freshness?
If you’ve neglected your budget  for some time, to breathe new life into it, you’ll need to get it ready. Pull together your financial records, bank statements, credit card  statements, and other information on your fixed monthly payments. These payment amounts are determined by others, not you and usually your fixed expenses are mandatory outflows. They must be given a high priority.
These could include dining out, personal care (haircuts, etc), gym memberships, clothing , vacations, entertainment, pet care, and gifts  for others. These outflows are not written in stone like fixed expenses but vary from month to month. The beauty of variable expenses is that if money is tight, you can easily cut back on these.
Having a healthy emergency fund  in place is a key step to your budget  renewal plan, but make sure what you consider emergencies really are emergencies. New tires, your semi-annual car insurance  premium, and your ten year anniversary gift to your spouse DO NOT qualify. Let’s be honest, you know those expenses are coming. The only reason they’re “emergencies” is because you didn’t prepare for them.
True emergencies are those that completely blindside you – your home heating system dies, your car’s transmission must be rebuilt, an unexpected medical expense surprises you. Those are true emergencies and having a healthy emergency fund  in place will insulate your checkbook from resorting to credit card  debt to cover them.
Always, always always set aside money for your emergency fund.
Give every dollar a specific job . You have to decide where each dollar will go, and why. Only you can decide what’s important so use this exercise to determine your priorities:
If you had enough money to pay for only one thing, just one, what would it be? If you have just enough to spend on one more thing, what would it be? Continue making these decisions until you’ve exhausted your list of expenses. Now you know what’s more important and what’s less important.
For me, food was number one, followed by housing, utilities, automobile expenses, medical bills (I have a child with an autoimmune condition), insurance, and so on down the list. Make sure you include savings — it comes before entertainment, vacation, dining out, dry cleaning, cable television, high speed internet, gifts , personal care, and clothing  for us.
When creating or renewing a budget  commitment , too many people cut too deep and begin to regret it. As a result, they create a budget  they can’t keep because it feels like they are giving up everything.
To avoid feeling like you’ve cut too deep:
Why isn’t making extra money  at the top of the list? Increasing income without a budget in place to handle it will only see those extra funds slip through the cracks and vanish. When you have a budget in place, extra money goes where you want it, hopefully to debt reduction  or to your savings and investment  plan.
How long will it take you to get your budget back on track? That all depends on your situation, including how much or what kind of debt you have, your personal priorities, and your income level. But spring is a great time to get started!
Article printed from The Wisdom Journal: http://www.thewisdomjournal.com/Blog
URL to article: http://www.thewisdomjournal.com/Blog/rejuvenating-your-budget/
URLs in this post:
 Tweet: https://twitter.com/share
 Life Skills Network: http://www.lifeskillsnetwork.net
 Image: http://www.thewisdomjournal.com/Blog/wp-content/uploads/2010/03/spring.jpg
 jody9: http://www.flickr.com/photos/jodymiller/
 budget: http://www.thewisdomjournal.com/Blog/go/budget.php/
 credit card: http://www.thewisdomjournal.com/Blog/credit-card-information/
 clothing: http://www.thewisdomjournal.com/Blog/ways-to-cut-your-clothing-costs/
 gifts: http://www.thewisdomjournal.com/Blog/go/gifts.php/
 emergency fund: http://www.thewisdomjournal.com/Blog/emergency-fund/
 car insurance: http://www.thewisdomjournal.com/Blog/insurance/#car-insurance
 commitment: http://www.thewisdomjournal.com/Blog/?p=213
 smaller home: http://www.thewisdomjournal.com/Blog/12-virtues-of-a-smaller-home/
 making extra money: http://www.thewisdomjournal.com/Blog/make-extra-money-incom/
 debt reduction: http://www.thewisdomjournal.com/Blog/how-i-paid-over-120000-in-debt-in-52-months/
 savings and investment: http://www.thewisdomjournal.com/Blog/saving-vs-investing/
 5 Steps to Rejuvenate Your New Year’s Resolutions: http://mysuperchargedlife.com/blog/5-steps-to-rejuvenate-your-new-years-resolutions/
 Rejuvenation for a Worn Out Crabby Mom: http://www.theconfidentmom.com/self-care/confessions-crabby-worn-out-mom/
 Rejuvenate Your Finances: http://www.mydollarplan.com/rejuvenate-your-finances/
 spring: http://technorati.com/tags/spring
 springtime: http://technorati.com/tags/springtime
 renewal: http://technorati.com/tags/renewal
 rejuvenation: http://technorati.com/tags/rejuvenation
 budget: http://technorati.com/tags/budget
 renewing your budget: http://technorati.com/tags/renewing+your+budget
 starting over: http://technorati.com/tags/starting+over
 The Wisdom Journal: http://www.thewisdomjournal.com/Blog/
 subscribe today: http://www.thewisdomjournal.com/Blog/welcome.php/
 Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/wisdomjournal/
 Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Wisdom-Journal/147054648679421
 »crosslinked«: #
Copyright © 2008 The Wisdom Journal. Some rights reserved.