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Thursday, February 5, 2009

How to Budget and Not Fail

By Jesse Mecham

Why does it seem that people quit budgeting before they even start? For one simple reason -- much like dieting -- they don't see the results they expect from the work they're required to put forth. Because they don't know how to budget, they don't see the results as quick as they'd like.

Truth be told, failure is almost certain with the way people are taught to budget these days. Some financial guru will announce they've come up with handy-dandy tables to compute what you should spend on every conceivable good and service...another will say you only need to worry about what you're saving (while that's great, you're leaving a lot of money on the table when that's your only focus!).

Examine the current balances (taking into account any outstanding checks, since those are already "spent") for your checking accounts and budget that money into your own spending/savings categories. What you're doing is giving every dollar a job.

Now, when you're paid again, take that money and give ALL of those dollars assignments as well.

You don't need to be able to see the future to learn how to budget. In fact, trying to estimate and forecast is a royal waste of time. What you're doing is planning a LIVING budget where you're planning what your money will do, and adjusting that plan as needs change. Assigning every dollar a job BEFORE it's spent will do wonders for raising your awareness about spenidng. You'll find that your values and your spending will begin traveling the same path (toward financial peace!)

So the old question of how to budget really is answered with one simple step: Once you have a dollar in hand, give it a purpose immediately, and find peace.

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