MV Parent Blog Post
Monthly Budget - Make it a Priority in 2017! Posted: December 30th, 2016
As I get ready for the year 2017 I can't help but think about the word priority. For us, getting out of debt and onto a smooth financial path was a MAJOR Priority. We didn't really have any other option!
If you want to make a change in your life and head onto a smooth financial path...start having a monthly household budget! I thank my lucky stars every day we did this years ago!!
Click Here to download the Budget Organizer Form
The word "Budget" was never in my vocabulary three years ago. Why do I need a budget? I know how much money my husband brings home each week, I know how much is being spent! Yea Right! Let's just say I was completely clueless about alot of things four years ago!
I am a stay at home mom and my husband is self employed. After our second child was born we both had a very quick reality check of our financial situation! My husband's businesses were starting to get affected by the unstable economy and the hospital bills were starting to arrive from the baby's stay in NICU. We have health insurance but it didn't fully cover all the expenses. At this point, I was still "Clueless" about what was going on with our finances, since my husband was taking care of the bills. I didn't exactly know how buried in debt we were getting until about 5 months after my daughter was born. That's when the phone calls/letters from debt collectors started. This went on for about two weeks until I just couldn't take the constant phone calls/messages anymore! After sitting down with my husband one night, and going over ALL the bills, I found out just how buried we were! I cried! I even started getting chest pains from the stress! I kept saying I can't believe this is happening? How are we going to get out of this?
That's when I decided I had enough! I needed to stop being clueless and take control of our finances. I came across the Dave Ramsey Website one day and purchased his starter bundle. I read the book "Total Money Makeover" cover to cover in two days! I knew the first part of getting out of debt was to find out how much was coming in and how much was going out! That way I could start a monthly budget to get our family on the right track!
Beware! This is where the Eye Opener of Reality comes into play especially if you've never had a monthly budget! What you will see on paper, in front of you, may come as a shock!
Relax, Don't Get Chest Pains! It will get better, I promise!
How Much Do You Have in Your Accounts and How Much Do You Take Home?
Write down how much your monthly income is and how much you have in savings, checking and how much you have invested.
What Are Your Monthly Expenses?
On a piece of paper write down every single monthly bill/expense you pay. That includes every child activity/daycare, groceries, eating out, gas, beauty appointments, insurance, rent payments and doctor/dentist payments.
Write down what your average monthly expense is for your utilities: water, electric, gas, trash, phone and cable.
What Do You Owe Monthly In Recurring Payments?
This is the section for your Mortgage, Student Loans, Car Loans and Credit Card Debt! Figure out how much the total that is owed on each account and what the monthly payment is.
****To find out your Net Worth with just what you owe in Credit Cards/Loans - Just Subtract what you owe from what you make!
Now after looking at everything on paper, you can see EXACTLY where you stand!
Are you right on track or are you overspending each month? Do you have enough to pay your bills and put money into savings each month??
If not then it's time to make some Serious Decisions. If you want to be at peace financially, you may have to stop doing some things you enjoying doing. That's the sacrifice we made the last few years. We chose to politely say no to several events with friends, we rarely went out to eat, and we told our oldest she could only do a few activities after school. Saving money and/or getting out of debt does not come without sacrifice and discipline!
Remember.....MV Parent can't make you save, you have to want to save & make a change for your future!