Bench Talk: Building a Budget | Part 4

Part 4 Transcript

  • Now what?
    • Don’t let your budget run itself…it won’t
    • Keep an eye on your discretionary spending (every couple of weeks at first, then once a month when you get into a rhythm of what it feels like to spend the amount you’ve set up).
    • Look back each month and be on the look-out for expenses that are creeping up or creeping in that aren’t within the limits of the budget.
    • Be disciplined and follow the rules you’ve set up
    • Adjust your budget when changes come up
      • If you get a raise, look for ways to invest, not spend. Put that raise towards your retirement…put some additional money towards your mortgage…work on paying off a credit card
      • If you pay off a car loan, don’t automatically roll that payment into a new car. Drive that car for a few more years, but keep making those payments into a savings account for the next time you buy a car. You’ll make a little interest while you wait, and maybe even buy your next car with your own money and not have much of a loan at all.
      • If expenses go up or income goes down, don’t get discouraged. Go back to your budget…look for categories that could be trimmed to make room for the change. Don’t sacrifice your savings and investing if it’s at all possible. If the game changes, change the rules.
    • Above all, keep in mind that a budget is not a way to take the fun out of life. It’s a tool to help you be intentional about the choices you make with the resources that you have. If you use it well, it can not only help you enjoy the game you are playing, but have the confidence to know that you’ll have enough to make it to overtime.

This is your game…your rules. Happy budgeting!

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