Thursday, February 14, 2013

On a Budget Series – Part 4: Steps to Success

As Part 4 of my “On a Budget” series, I’m here today to share with you some ideas for successfully improving your financial health. These are basic ideas that can be applied depending on your situation.
  • Consistent tracking/keep your checkbook balanced
  • Move in with family or get a roommate
  • Be conscious of your eating out frequency
  • Determine if you really need that item in your cart
  • Give your new spending plan time to show whether it is improving your situation or not

To go along with my recommended steps to success, below are more specific steps that can assist me and my current situation in improving my financial health along with the expected results.
    • My detailed 2013 Personal Finance & Budget Workbook provides a variety of tracking worksheets and reports that will help me achieve my goal of increasing my financial health and getting my expense percentages in line with Dave Ramsey’s recommendations.
  2. My boyfriend will be moving in soon which will help decrease my living expenses, thus lowering my expense to income range for housing.
    • Based on my January income, this would put me in the 48% range rather than 62%. It still isn’t 25%-35% but it’s a start in the right direction.
      • Since I am in a lease for another 3 months, having my boyfriend chip in is the only solution I have at the moment to reduce my income range for housing. I will be looking into alternative rental properties that will help decrease the chunk of change being gobbled-up each month for housing.
  3. Decrease the frequency of eating out. Eating out is so much easier than going to the kitchen and making something; however, the expense adds up – quickly.
    • I am going to try and limit the eating out to once/week during February which will help decrease the amount of my income that goes towards food.
  4. Deciding whether the items in my cart are really necessary and have an immediate purpose.
    • I will ask myself questions like:
      • What is this item’s purpose?
      • It is needed right now or can the project/purpose wait?
      • If I determine the item is needed then I’ll comparison shop via my smartphone to ensure I’m getting the best possible deal.
  5. I am committing to this tracking and spending plan for the entire 2013 year.
    • I will be tracking it on a weekly basis to see what changes may be needed throughout the year to increase my results and chances for success.

Feel free to join in if you’d like to share your budgeting tips and/or progress.

Check back tomorrow for “On a Budget Series – Part 5: Budget Workbooks”

I’ll be sharing the tracking sheet I found to be useful in my financial health improvement journey.

Until next time!

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