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 Carol's Journey

These tips should not replace expert financial counsel
I share them as tools that they might help others as well
God alone is the One who daily supplies all of my needs
He will do the same for you when you trust Him indeed

To create a budget, start by tracking expenses for 30 days
Reviewing your checkbook for the past month is one way
Make sure to include all cash and credit card purchases too
Money spent on little things adds up and may surprise you

List regular monthly bills by date expected payment is due
Prorate insurance, taxes, and any other longer term bills too
Once you have a total, subtract it from your monthly wages
If income varies, take month high and low to figure average

If expenses exceed income, look for areas to possibly cut back
Then carefully evaluate money needed to get budget on track
Useful tool when seeking either full time or extra employment
Also long term goals including vacation or eventual retirement

For any budget to be effective, always follow these guidelines
Pay all bills on time to avoid added interest, penalties and fines
Start savings account or use an envelope for long term payments
Prorate amount to be set aside in regularly scheduled increments

By having such a targeted plan, funds will be adequately available
It will involve discipline, prioritizing, and willingness to be flexible
When an emergency arises, you may need to juggle your budget
Handle that situation, then return to your goal until you fulfill it

Advisors say it is wise to have funds set aside for a six month season
So before you decide to leave your current job, consider your reasons
Realize no job is perfect and there will be times you face opposition
But if work is a drudgery, it might be best to look for a new position

Layoffs are out of your control; they are unexpected along the way
If you qualify for unemployment, it is usually a lower rate of pay
There are local programs that do provide some limited assistance
Surviving on a fixed income involves spending cuts and sacrifice

There are many ways to save some extra bucks, here are just a few
Cut back on entertainment expenses and any impulse spending too
Keep your car awhile longer, at least until the loan balance is paid
Limit vending machine purchases, buy in bulk at the store instead

© Carol S. 2/1/13

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