- FPU DVD Lesson: The Great Misunderstanding – Budgeting the Fun Stuff
- A Gift To My Children by Jim Rogers – Kathleen C.
Congratulations to you all! 😀
Manage Your Money Final Challenge
So far, you’ve learned about budgeting on paper on purpose, deciphering wants versus needs, the benefits of teamwork and accountability, impulse spending, and the impact debt has on your budget each month. Today we are going to finish the Manage Your Money challenge by talking about two things; thinking ahead and keeping the determination alive. Both are important because without either, you will be more likely to give up due to a feeling of mounting distress and frustration. It’s hard to stay determined when you feel it isn’t working,and it’s hard to make it work if you do not think ahead.
Think of Your Budget Like a Game of Chess
The biggest problem people have in the awkward phase, is not including irregular expenses that eventually sneak up on them and bust even the best of budgets. It’s what you don’t account for that will sink you everytime. There’s not a worse feeling than spending time to work out your budget, only to find out a couple of days in, that you forgot about your insurance that renews that month. What about when Christmas sneaks up on you, you forgot about that engagement party, or that upcoming wedding arrives faster than you thought it would. You have to plan ahead for those things.
They say in Chess you need to think at least 5 moves ahead, and that’s for someone who is just starting out. When budgeting you need to think 5 months ahead, just to make sure you have no surprises to worry about. No budget is ever perfect, but the more you plan for the less you have to cause you trouble down the road. I recommend having a list of irregular expenses in a handy place—wherever it is that you set up the budget. Perhaps you could bring the list with you to the monthly budget meetings to make sure everything is covered. It’s why I have listed on my EOD Deluxe Budget 2.0 a place for you to do just that. It’s right on the same page as the budget so you should never forget! Ever since we have done that we have had way less instances of catastrophic budget failure. Most of the time though those issues can be solved fairly easy if you have an emergency fund in place, but planning for them is the best possible solution.
Determination to Stay On Course is Crucial
To be quite frank, quitting is stupid. If you choose defeat, how far do you think you will get, or more importantly, how much MORE damage will you cause yourself? It is absolutely imperative that you stand back up, dust yourself off, and give it another go. Your family is counting on you, and if not your family, then certainly your future is. You cannot afford to do nothing, and if you quit that’s what you will end up doing—nothing!
Doing nothing gets you nowhere and fast. Ever heard people with addictions proclaim that they gave up what they were addicted to, only to later fail, which ended up making their situation even worse? Financially, someone who likes spending may go out and binge shop. Health and fitness goals are broken, and often leads to a massive weight gain. I for one, could probably be an expert on gaining weight after systematic failure in the eating department. The temptation to go back to doing what got you where you are is too high, so you end up compensating for the lost time I guess. What you’re really doing is punishing yourself and in most cases your family.
If your situation was bad enough to feel you needed to do something one day, it is highly likely that it is STILL IMPORTANT TODAY! Nothing has changed, and if you fell of the wagon and had a bi-polar moment, you have given yourself even more reason to get back on track. Your future and your sanity are at stake, not to mention the family bond. Stick with it and make sure that you are always moving forward. Baby steps work wonderfully, as long as your progress is consistent over time. I really need to work on this myself as far as my weight loss is concerned. I have failed and given up a lot and my body and my health have paid the price. Don’t make your financial situation worse because you may have messed up. Instead learn what caused the problem, and put something in place that will keep it from happening again. Find solutions and think ahead and your determination will get you through the toughest of times.
I hope this Manage Your Money project has given you lots to think about concerning your money, your behaviors, and how it all affects your family in the end. Thank you for participating! 😀
Today’s Bonus Challenge
Today we aren’t going to do a big long challenge. It is simple. Get a piece of paper and write down the next 5 months of the year starting with the next month you are on (April). Now write down IN ORDER, anything that could pop up on you down the road for those 5 months. (worth 1 entry)
How many irregular expenses did you come up with?
Nothing fancy. Just do it for an entire year, all the way through March of 2011. (worth 5 entries)
How many irregular expenses did you come up with?
Things To Consider
- Tax bills
- Graduation celebrations, gifts, ceremonies
- Summer trips or vacations
- Retirement parties
- Domain renewal
- Web-hosting renewal
- Back-to-school shopping
- Auto insurance renewal
- Thanksgiving preparations
- Any other holidays that bring with it cost. (July 4th, Labor day etc.)
That is it! This has been a really great project that I am so happy I decided to follow through with. It has been a lot of work, but I hope each and everyone of you, including those of you that participated silently, were able to really learn something from all this. I hope you learned something about yourself, your spouse, your children, and your money! Don’t forget about the BIG GIVEAWAY on Thursday where 4 people will win:
- Financial Peace University Lifetime Membership Kit courtesy of Dave Ramsey.
- 3 premium upgrades for the Pocketsmith budgeting software courtesy of Pocketsmith.
Please be sure to visit the sponsors page to check out all of the awesome people who made this Manage Your Money project so much more interesting and special. I would also like to thank all of the bloggers who helped me spread the word right from the very beginning. Thank you all! Thank you Pocketsmith for inspiring me to start this project to begin with. 😀
See you on Thursday!
OTHER MANAGE YOUR MONEY POSTS
- Manage Your Money Sign Up
- Manage Your Money Pre-Challenge Post: On Paper On Purpose
- I Love You…Like A Blogger!
- WEEK ONE CHALLENGE: Manage Your Money – Wants Versus Needs
- WEEK TWO CHALLENGE: Teamwork, Accountability, and Kids
- WEEK THREE CHALLENGE: Death By 1000 Cuts
- WEEK FOUR CHALLENGE: GET OUT OF DEBT!
- BONUS CHALLENGE: Think Ahead and Stay Determined!
- FINAL POST: Feedback April 1st