As the market shifts up and down, the average person is left perplexed about how to go about personal finance budgeting. The economy for most is a big question mark. It doesn’t matter whether it’s good times, bad times or uneven spells. The are many reasons for this uncertainty accentuated by the departure of Allen Greenspan as the nations financial guru ushering in the new Ben Bernanke era. Unfamiliarity breeds uneasiness.
Key One is stick to the fundamentals
Base you budgeting assessments on guaranteed income. Don’t make the mistake of predetermining possible flows of revenue. This kind of financial anticipation can lead you down the path of bankruptcy. Many make the mistake of planning against expenses alone. You have to plan against definite income verses expenses. In doing so you will see areas where emphasis of need may be overrated or even misplaced.
Key One A
Two out of three people who attempt a long term second job are able to sustain two jobs and a home life. There is also a good possibility that a second job may even yield less by boosting you into a higher tax bracket. That extra $150 a week may yield less that half after taxes. A point which can demoralize even the most positive person after a 60 plus hour week. If you do take a second job the best route is to wait and see if you can handle the hours physically and mentally. Then when you are certain you can budget in that money.
Look at personal finance budgeting as you would goal setting. Map out short term, medium term and long term plans. Go over your budget history as you go along and adjust as needed. Don’t be stubborn allow your goals to be flexible as you can’t plan out for the unknown good or bad. Being rigid will only lead you down the road of despair. Brian Tracy a world renown business and life coach preaches the acceptance of things will go wrong. This attitude will take the edge off of anything thrown at you within reason. Again, the keyword is accept not expect or worse be paranoid about the what ifs.
Don’t mortgage the future for the now or mortgage the now for the future. As many people put the weight of world on their shoulders by overworking and living spartan lives to create the future as those that live in the now undermining their future. Either way destroys morale, family and relationships. Strive for Balance in your daily living. Plan at all times to have time for a life. We are not superheros. We have needs and reasons for relationships and purpose in life. Your financial planning has to take this into account. Yes, it may take longer to reach your goals. The benefits are maintaining relationships, physical health and the original objectives of your goals.
Do you need expensive software or have a need to hire a full time financial planner? Most of us regular folks (never say ordinary because you are not) really don’t need to. Barbara Swenson in her article “Budgeting Your Money So You Don’t Go Broke” points out this free (yes our personal finance budget loves that word) alternative: Instant Budget Maker hosted at CNN a trusted name in news and finance.
Infusing the keys into your personal finance budgeting.
This is an art not a given. Have a sit down with a financial planner if you can. Use resources like Instant Budget Maker. Think twice before buying a software like Quicken or others if you normally do not use software of this nature. Purchasing a software you will not use in the long time is not an investment (a common word use to justify frivolous buying). Unlike that exercise equipment you don’t use, expensive software cannot double as a clothes hanger.
Do your homework and get as much information as you can. I avoided discussion on risk taking here. The reason being is first before you can take risks, you need to build a solid foundation. Ask questions and don’t go by the seat of your pants. If you are single your main concern is being realistic. You can’t plan for suddenly being in a relationship. Whether single, in a relationship, or (worse) married you have to nurture yourself (or selves) and your environment. This is overlooked by many who on the surface are considered a success by reaching their financial goals but have little else than material things to show for it. “Sitting in the night savoring a vintage wine is satisfying moment. Sitting in the night savoring a vintage wine with the right person is a satisfying moment which you will savor over time.”