It's a Spending Plan

It's a Spending Plan

There are 2 weeks left in 2017, all the Christmas shopping is done and you might be saying to yourself- I’ve got to do better job budgeting and handling my money in 2018. As part of learning to deal with my ever changing “New Normal”, I am renewing my commitment to myself to have a clearer picture of my finances and budgeting.

Before I can do anything about my finances I need to know where my money is going. Before I can change anything I need to know what needs to change. 

Earlier in the year, I wrote about setting up a money calendar to help understand my cash flow. I’ve been writing my spending on a wall calendar for a while now. But a calendar? It’s the New Year time to modernize! 

I went online and looked at the apps that record your spending. I wanted the best apps to help me set up and keep a monthly budget. Some of them make you set up a new bank account that links to the app and record purchases made off that account. Others provided FICO score updates- the rest wanted my email address and contact info. This is so easy, right? No way. To give me my FICO they need my Social Security number. To open a bank account, they need my Social Security Number. If I gave them my contact info- they’ll sell my phone number and email address to telemarketers. Nope, when I find an app that I’m comfortable with I’ll let you know, but for now none of them felt right. 

Then I realized if it ain’t broke-don’t fix it. Back in Oklahoma, they taught me to “use the right tool for the right job”. I already have the tool for this job (budgeting) -I just needed to use it differently. I need to change the way I think about it. I always called it a budget. I thought about that word “budget”- it sounds so limiting, so austere- not me. I’m a Mom- I’m a business owner- I’m organized- I’m a Boss- I plan- when I make a plan, I stick to it- I’m making a plan for my spending and savings- I’m making a Spending Plan!

In order to make a plan succeed, we need clarity. The only way to be clear with our finances is by being real with ourselves and that means we must realize that the amount of money we have to work with each month is what we have in available in our bank accounts. That doesn’t mean we’ll never have more in the future, it means the amount we have this month is the amount we have this month and no mas. 

Managing our family’s finances is part of protecting kids, it’s too important and there’s too much information to cover in one post. Next week I’ll write about the steps necessary, what we need to include in it, and what to plan for in our spending plans for the New Year -In the meantime Merry Christmas and be on the lookout for next week’s post.

This is my commitment to myself and all you for 2018: 

In 2018 I / We are going to develop the skills we need to live with the amount of money we have. 

In 2018 I /We will not allow define ourselves by the amount money we have.

In 2018 I /We will not have a Budget – It’s a Spending Plan.

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