Following up on last week’s topic of budgets, Gail gave some advice on what to do if your budget doesn’t balance. Gail also spent part of this week having us evaluate where we are at and also answered some participant questions.
How Much is Enough?
When it comes to budgets they are of no use if they don’t balance. So if it doesn’t balance, that’s when expenses need to be cut. Gail has spent a lot of this year emphasizing what is a need versus a want. When cutting expenses, these are things to look at.
With that determination Gail is talking about, look at where you might be throwing money away.
Do you return your bottles for deposits?
Do you throw away a lot of food left overs?
Do you combine all of your errands into one trip to minimize gas expenses?
Do you pay ATM fees?
These little things aren’t going to conquer tens of thousands of dollars in debt, but as you are paring down your budget, they are worth examining.
Make More Money
If you’ve cut your expenses and you still cannot make the budget balance, it might be time to look at making more money.
This can be done by finding a higher paying job, finding a side hustle or second job, or even asking for a raise if you are due one.
Evaluating Where You’re At
Money Gives You Options
One of the reasons I’m such a big fan of budgets is that they give you options. Being aware and in control of my finances allows me to freely and confidently make choices for my life.
Gail reminded us that she is going to be answering our questions next month and she also got a head start on some of them this week.
You can find the tweet to the last question here, but since it was hard to read as an embedded tweet, I’ve got it typed out for you:
“Is it ever okay to step back and say ‘what I have is enough?’
I have no debt, my emergency fund is full, I have a pension and the budget balances, is it okay to focus on other priorities? Like working part-time to remote school the kids…instead of picking up extra hours? It has no effect on benefits and minimal effect on my pension.”
“Absolutely. This is why a sound financial base is so important: it gives you options. You’ve got your ducks in a row so go ahead and make the changes (adjusting the plan accordingly) to have the life you want.”
That Critical Inner Voice
Some more life advice from Gail to end the week. Being aware of negative self talk is so valuable. That critical inner voice, as Gail calls it, can sabotage and derail our best of plans–financial or otherwise.
How is your budget looking? Have you been able to create a balanced one?
Missed last week? Find it here: Week 38 Recap
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