Get Serious About Your Money

By: Terry J. Rigg

For years I would write my bills down, figure my income andsubtract the bills from my paycheck to see what was left. Itwas a real good start but by payday it was either forgotten orsomething would happen to mess it up.

It finally dawned on me that the way I was going about thiswasn't going to work. I needed a different plan. Somethingthat would make me understand the problem and help me comeup with a solution.

What I came up with was a little surprising, at least to me.I had been trying to solve my problems without being willingto make some major changes that needed to be made. I reallywasn't serious about fixing the problem.

After several years of counseling a lot of people about theirfinances, I've come to the conclusion that this is what keepsmany people from overcoming their financial woes. There areexceptions of course. In some cases there isn't much that canbe done short of bankruptcy.

Before you sit down and try to develop a budget or decide whatyour future plans are, you need to decide if you are willingto follow it through to the end. If you aren't, you will bejust spinning your wheels. Here are few questions you needto ask yourself:

  • Are you willing to do without the joys of what those creditcards can buy?
  • Are you willing to have your family sacrifice as much as you do?
  • Can you make the hard decisions that will be necessary?

Remember, this is only the first step, however, this is absolutely the most important.

If you can't cross this hurdle then going to the next step is futile.

On the brighter site, if you are determined to get yourfinances in order, the rest is relatively simple. You first have to decide what it is that you want. Set your long and short term goals. Do you want to retire early, buy a house, send the kids to college? Will you need a new car in the near future? This will take money and it is absolutely necessarythat you start saving as early as possible for these goals.

You next step is to set up a simple and workable budget. Formany people living on a budget is like serving a life sentencein a maximum security prison. It doesn't have to be that way.The worst thing you can do is develop a budget that takes hoursevery day to manage.

While you are developing your budget you need to look for everyway possible to cut corners but you have to be realistic. Ifyou try to budget $400 a month for groceries then you need to make sure that you can make it on $400. If you can't then you have to set aside more.

Being organized is also an important aspect of money management.Assign one member of the family to manage the budget and billpaying. Setup your files so that you can quickly lay your hands on the bills, receipts, contracts, etc.

Deciding you have the willingness to get control of your money,setting your goals and developing a budget will all take anenormous amount of discipline to carry it out. I believe thatif everybody applied the same discipline to their finances that they use to get up in the morning, go to work, take care of the kids and all of the other things we have to do everyday, moneymanagement wouldn't be such a struggle for some people.

Today, you don't have to do this alone. The internet hasthousands of web sites that are designed to help. Most of themwon't cost you a cent. HoweverFeature Articles, it is going to be up to you todecide if you are ready.

Money Management
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