Saturday, February 28, 2009

A Financial Balancing Act

I send messages to my subconscious!

One such message is: My spending and savings plans are balanced.

My subconscious then goes to work to make this a reality. I find tools, self-discipline, and motivation to make my “dream” come true.

I’ve heard that two of the greatest strains on a marriage are… money and kids.

A key to alleviating money problems is a family budget. Generally, if you want to improve something, you have to find a way to measure it. A budget is a spending (and saving) plan.

Creating a budget makes you think and plan. (Maybe even prioritize!)

But that’s only part one: you have to gather data to see if your budget is working. There are tools out there to help. I use my bank’s online bill payment system to create an electronic (but safe) audit trail, along with Mvelopes personal budgeting software. Crown Financial Ministries’ web-site helped me on my first stab at a budget.

Mvelopes budget system has helped me get more out of my paycheck, and it provides guidance when I have to buy something: Do I have the money put aside? (Check the envelope!)

Now I’m prepared for car repairs, vacations, insurance, and surprises. I still overspend sometimes, but it’s usually on purpose. The budget is not king, I am! ;-)

I’ve been able to reduce some expenses, but mostly I’ve discovered what things cost: like vacations, pets, hair care, and groceries. (Eating out was a surprise too!)

But my affirmation is about balance: My spending and savings plans are balanced.

Savings is about providing a cushion against expenses, planned and unplanned. It’s also about building wealth. Home equity can be viewed as a savings. I’ve used my home equity several times to fund a remodel and a new roof. (Perhaps to pay some large medical bills too.)

Balancing the spending and savings provides peace of mind and a tool for building personal wealth. It’s a dance, and many of us need dance lessons!

What I’ve come to enjoy is finding a balance point that doesn’t leave me teetering on the brink of insolvency, but a balance point that allows me to sleep well, not argue with the spouse, bail out kids (it happens), buy major appliances, and even help pay for college. (With a good plan, even Christmas doesn’t have to bankrupt you!)

A balanced spending and savings plan even provides for being generous and giving. You can afford it.

So if you want to borrow something from me… I’ll give you two things: free advice and a useful affirmation/goal: My spending and savings plans are balanced.

I send messages to my subconscious!

(All other requests for assistance will NOT be considered.) ;-)

1 comment:

  1. I love this......our financial balancing are on equal footing as well. We just DON'T spend more than we make. And we save......imagine that???
    You got it going on Don (and I'm glad your wife liked the pups......resucing animals is one of our many passions).
    Take good care and.........

    Ateady On
    Reggie Girl