Perhaps you’re battling credit card debt or your lack of follow through on budgeting tips. Maybe you need to work on educational savings goals for your children, or your retirement savings. Whatever the case may be, you must find your method for meeting your financial goals and budgeting needs.
Choose Your Budgeting Style
One of the major elements is in respect to your budget. When you do this, you must consider some important aspects with you and your budget:
- How technological, or “un-technological,” must it be? Consider any devices that you have which could lead to an obvious choice in terms of convenience.
- What features do you need? From the basics that a notebook could take care of, to the advanced features that an advanced program on your notebook computer can demonstrate, there are many sides to this story.
- Do you need to keep multiple budgets?
- Identify any weaknesses you have with keeping a budget, or remembering to use it.
Some of these points will lead you to a certain direction. If you’re old school, you might prefer to stick with your pen and paper. A smartphone that you use every day could mean that an app is right. Take some time to consider how you currently keep a budget, as having something that works well for you is extremely important – how else will you pay off credit cards and save for your children’s education?
The Problem of Motivation
As we continue our casual look into financial methods, another incredibly important issue is brought up with motivation. In financial articles, it is perhaps not spoken of more often. After all, the best budgeting tips in the world will do no good if they are not followed, of course.
You have to take a deep, hard look at the ways needed to motivate yourself. For instance, some consumers needing to cut their expenses down or save more may find success of the following:
- Give yourself a goal. For instance, as part of your budgeting changes, you could invest a small amount into a savings account each month. With that money you could go on a small trip, thus giving you incentive. Or you could be saving for a deposit on your dream home.
- Put your budget in plain sight. You might “see no evil” if you ignore views of your budget. Let yourself see the debt you have on a regular basis; it might drive you to act upon it and remain disciplined.
- Inspiration. Do what it takes to follow through. Maybe you can have your household keep each other honest with spending money, or post reminders (i.e. notes around those high-priced restaurants’ phone numbers). Put a picture of your future trip via the first point.
Overall, there are many aspects that can impact your financial well-being that are not directly about money. The manner in which you keep your budget and motivate yourself with your budget can make a big difference. Approach these items carefully to make implementing your financial plan much easier on yourself. Sometimes you just have to do what it takes when it comes to your budget, and these examples can certainly help with execution and practice of good habits.
The preceding post is a guest post.
I just got back late last night from a mini-cruise to the Bahamas and back with my wife and a few friends. Since I knew I would be getting in late, I decided to take an extra day off since the stack of mail, e-mails, etc that seems to pile up while gone has to be dealt with. I also needed to take some time to catch up on what has been happening in the blogosphere while away and that can take quite a bit of time as well.
At any other time, such a beautiful fall day in central Indiana would immediately call for 18 holes of golf. But that would be costing me about $30 or so. So instead of spending money, I am actually working on building my blog and trying to make a little extra money in the process. Of course, I won’t be seeing my efforts pay off immediately, but in the next one or two years, I suspect that I will be much farther down the road than I could have ever imagined.
Blogging Makes Money and Saves Money Too
I was recently looking over my online income for the year 2010 and realized that I made just over $1000 with those efforts. Much of it was due to eHow and Life123 which had compensation programs for content writers that ended up closing and paying out. But still, had I never expended any effort at signing up and writing content, I never would have derived any benefit. Now, I have started this blog and begun the long process of trying to build it while working full-time.
Now if I add to those earnings the amount of money that I saved on golfing during those times when I chose to write instead of play, I could easily come up with another $200 in savings meaning that I probably benefited to the tune of about $100 monthly during 2010.
Is Fear Holding You Back?
It was the Panda update earlier this year that pushed me into creating my own blog. Prior to that, I had relied upon the content farms for the technical aspects of publishing afraid to tackle the WordPress platform and afraid to spend a few dollars monthly for hosting thinking that no one would want to read what I had to write. This fear has put me 2 years behind where I could be in terms of blogging.
Andrea recently returned from the Financial Blogging Conference where she failed to meet and talk to one of her idols. Kudos to her for recognizing and admitting that fear. But it did hold her back. What would have been the result if she hadn’t been forced to wait until next year now. It is impossible to know.
I may not be the best writer. I may not have the greatest design. I know I don’t have a ton of traffic and doubt that I could even make a full-time income out of blogging. I may never win any type of rewards. But I can say that I intend to write to the best of my ability and not have any regrets when all is said and done with the exception of letting my fear get in the way of starting earlier.
I know this post took a couple of turns today, but I just wanted to express what I was feeling now that I am back from break and trying to get back into a regular routine. I am looking forward to the next 3 months to conclude 2011 and am excited to what the future holds.
Readers: Please share your thoughts. What has fear kept you from enjoying?