Some people like to tinker with cars…I like to tinker with our monthly budget.
I am a recovering perfectionist and I am also quite competitive. Haha! So, this combination lends itself to routine tinkering with our budget. Now that I’m further along on my road to recovery from multiple surgeries, I am in a better position to lend my attention to our financial goals.
My husband and I discuss our financial goals and aspirations pretty much on a daily basis. While we openly communicate about upcoming purchases, savings goals, bills, etc., I am the one who generally implements these things.
While listening to a Dave Ramsey podcast recently, I learned about every dollar.com, his new budget website that is absolutely free! I checked it out and it has some really neat features. Once you plug in your specifics, it will tally it all up and show the percentage of your budget for each area. You can upgrade to another tier on the website, but the free features are great as they stand. There is also information there about the “Baby steps” toward financial freedom. All very good information.
So, I am inspired, once again, to pay closer attention to not only our spending, but our savings goals. The two really go hand in hand.
Dave Ramsey said something the other day that really caused me to pause and think about it:
“Your greatest financial asset is your income.”
He went on to say if we give it all away, you are left with nothing to show for it. That is obvious but begs the question – “Who do you want to give it to?” “What goals do you have in mind?” “What would be a better use of your money?”
Money is a vehicle. But unless you are the driver, it will take you down roads, you do not want to go. …
So, where do you want to go?
Where do you want to be next year? In five years? Ten?
We all are living in a finite span of time with a finite earning potential. With this in mind, where do you want your time to be invested? Because all money is … is your time. It is a tangible representation of your time. Your life.
What do you want to show for it?
Do you want to leave an inheritance for your children? Do you want to travel internationally? Do you want to donate to charitable causes?
You only have so much time.
What do you want to be remembered for? Your generosity? Your wise stewardship? …
What does it mean anyway? Well, it means to adjust, repair, fix, play around with. Budgets are constantly in need of such.
If you wrote out a list of your goals and dreams, would your monthly budget be a reflection of them? Or is your budget more of a lack of attention and just floating along?
Would you gladly give up cable t.v. if it meant you could contribute more to your retirement fund? What about giving up sodas and lattes, if it meant you could cash flow Christmas this year?
Life is about trade-offs. Would you rather have “this” or “that”? Which one is more important to you? It is about intentional living. Choices. Determine today that you are going to begin implementing your goals that are close to your heart rather than spending money like it’s going out of style.
So, I’ve been tinkering with our budget and, so far, I’m liking the outcome. I’m glad I’ve reached this epiphany now rather than later because time seems to slip through our fingers like sand, my friends. Now really is the time to tell your money where to go rather than wondering where it went! (Dave Ramsey quote).
What if you began making extra payments toward your debt? What if you sold a few things toward that end? What if, once your debt was paid, you began chunking away money in a Christmas, travel fund or other savings goals?
Periodically, we must take stock in the direction our income is going. Recently, we switched our car and homeowner’s insurance to the annual savings tune of $1,600!! That’s like newly found money right there! Yes!
That is just one example of tinkering that has been very productive!
What budget category can you tinker with today?