Gaining the upper hand when it comes to designing a workable budget is a great way to contribute to getting your total life together. Realizing that the way you budget reflects your life’s priorities, take a look at yourself and evaluate how close your line item budget entries come to truly reflecting your life’s priorities, and what you can do to make the two lists fit together better as you contemplate your spending for the second half of 2010!
Here are some points to consider as you conduct your mid-year budget and life evaluation:
- Decide how you would like to see yourself finish out your year. What do you want to have in place to show for yourself by the end of 2010? Once you have made that list, decide further what changes you will have to implement in order to stick to it.
- In your budget evaluation, make sure that you make the budget plans strict enough that you can achieve what you want to achieve, but at the same time fun enough so that you won’t feel deprived.
- When you make your budget plans, build in a way to make following the budget simple enough that following it becomes natural. Plan for documentation and reconciliation mechanisms to be straightforward enough that you won’t be tempted to avoid the self-accountability that you expect of yourself in your budget process. In other words, don’t make following the budget so hard that you quit before you begin!
- View your budget as a working framework within which you will live and work and study and play. View the total package as your marching orders as you wind up your year and as a stepping stone for getting where you want to be.
- It is important to keep even the most basic of records to let you know where you are financially. Regardless of whether the finances are yours alone or are family finances, greater progress will be made in getting you back on track if you keep good written records to refer back to in projecting future budgets and making next year’s plans. Having vital information about your finances at your fingertips gives you greater power to make decisions and choices.
- To the end of recordkeeping, make a simple system that you can understand which tells you where every penny goes. You don’t have to start at the beginning with these records; start where you are right now and move forward toward your future. That will begin an accountability habit that will give you a starting point for you to work with. At first, it doesn’t have to be absolutely perfect, it just has to start you off on a system that will help take your personal finances to the next level!