Plan For Savings By Making a Written Plan
These guidelines will assure you of a money management plan to fit YOUR special needs. If you follow each step, It will also save you a complicated job of bookkeeping. This guide won't be able to work miracles for you but will help show you the way to get the most out of your money.
For a workable plan, four steps are necessary:
- Add up your total income, including any funds you receive in addition to your earnings.
- Figure out your total fixed expenses such as rent or mortgage, insurance premiums or car payments.
- Provide for a savings fund adequate to meet emergencies and achieve special goals.
- Estimate how much you need for day to day living expenses.
While these steps are listed in sequence, it's likely you will arrive at your final estimates by considering them as a group. You may need to do some adjusting of the amount in each step until you have what you feel is a satisfactory plan. After going through each step and filling out the worksheet, you will have a better idea of where your money is going and how much you have left over to work with.
Before you begin to work out your plan, it is important to remember good money management starts long before you begin keeping track of dollars and cents. As we have discussed in previous lessons, your plan is a personal or family matter. You need to take a long hard look at your values. Your goals will reflect your values. No one can tell you what your lifestyle ought to be. Only you can decide how your income is spent. Effective money management will depend on the way you choose to live and the goals you plan to achieve.
So where do you cut expenses to keep the budget balanced? Travel? Clothes? Entertainment? Education? That's up to you. Think about where you are now and where you want to be in five or ten years. Your long-term plan should reflect those goals you and your family have decided are most important.
Plan For Savings
When making out your budget, plan for savings first. You can grow richer each month if you pay yourself first. Here's an idea you might want to try. Before paying any bills, decide on an amount, to pay yourself first--say five or ten percent--or whatever you decide-- of your paycheck. Then, deposit the amount into a savings account before paying any bills. When you do this at the beginning of the month, your entire paycheck will not slip through your fingers. If you wait until the end of the month, there may be nothing left to save.
Paying yourself first gives you a systematic way to make your money grow. Regardless of the kind of job you have or your income, this system works!
Another technique you might try for saving money is to empty your change into a coffee can or jar each day. At the end of the month, roll the coins and put them into your savings account. You may be able to save up to $30 a month this way.
Remember, good money management is more than a mathematical formula. It's too closely tied with the ups and downs of living for that. Your money management plan is always subject to change if your life situation changes. The object of a good budget is to make your money help you reach your goals, not to force you to conform to rigid rules. Don't be discouraged if this budget plan doesn't work out right away. You may have to revise it several times until it fits your wants and needs. Then, review it from time to time; to be sure it continues to help you use your income in the best way.