By Leigha Westover, Director of Income & Outgo
What is stopping you from being financially independent?
The first step toward becoming financially sound is to really understand where you’re starting from. Stop and take time to review where you are today. Take an hour and sit down with your spouse, children, or friend and write everything out. That means every single thing--including your habitual purchases. For instance, do you have the bottled water you buy every week on your budget? The soft drink or the coffee you pick up as you go by your favorite coffee shop or gas station? Do you have pet fees? Clothing and beauty spending? That means nails, haircut, waxing, or eyelash extensions.
Take a long look at what you spent your money on in the first three months of this year. I bet you probably are shocked by what you spent. You did get some extra money with that stimulus check, but did you have unexpected expenses creep up? In our home, two cars need body repair—with a thousand dollar deductible each. We have a car account set aside but the amount we have allocated to that account wasn’t enough. We don't have the deductible and our insurance is due in a month. Besides that, one of the cars has needed tires since December. Our car savings only has enough to cover one of these essentials.
As we reviewed our budget and spending we realized that we need to make a few changes. As you review yours, take time to think about how organized you are. Where are your receipts kept and how well do you track your expenses? With April coming up, taxes are due. Ask your accountant about a better way to track expenses and how to make filing next year easier. They may have some wise counsel for you. Taxes are their specialty, so ask lots of questions and take what applies to you to improve your financial situation.
After you review your budget and spending, it is time to look forward. Preview your remaining nine months of this year. Take the tips and tricks shared by your accountant, or other resources you have discovered, and look ahead to where you want to be. What do you want to happen by the end of 2021? Realign your budget to meet your goals and needs. Be innovative, and remember that your family is worth any changes you have to make.
You don’t have to do this alone. To be self reliant, turn to God and seek his will. Pray for guidance in your financial decisions. Be his hands, and watch your life fall into place financially.
If you're happy how you are handling things financially, that’s great! Share your tricks with those who need help.
But, if you want a change, I invite you to experiment on our Income/Outgo component principles. You’ll see for yourself how much your financial and family life improves along the way!
Our Team of CouncilMoms take turns submitting blog posts in each area of the RAISE UP acronym. Guest authors are encouraged to submit their blog posts as well (CONTACT US for more info! Thank you!)
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