It is time to prepare your budget for the month of April!
Here are few tips for this month:
• The FREE BUDGET TOOLS are located HERE
• Major Expenses Coming Up Soon? Graduations, Mother’s Day and Memorial Day are next month. Father’s Day and a lot of weddings are in June. Are you traveling anytime in the next few months? These could add up to major expenses, and you could lessen the financial impact by beginning to save for them in April’s budget!
• Consider clothing. The weather is awesome, but all of the clothes from last summer will no longer fit the kids since they have grown like weeds! Be sure to put some money in the plan for this expense!
• Will. Why not make this THE MONTH that you get a will? Set up a meeting with an attorney or go to an online provider of will kits like LegalZoom.com or USLegalForms.com
Two questions for you:
1. What are some other unusual budget items that you will encounter in April?
2. What are some “wins” that you experienced during the month of March?
What do you truly value in your life? It has been said that with one look at a person’s calendar and checkbook register, you would learn what a person truly values.
That’s certainly true, but I believe there is an even better way to learn what you value most. Have someone ask your spouse and children what you truly value. If you are not married, have someone ask your closest friends.
I’m having this asked of my bride and children. I wonder if the answers will align with what I say I value.
Romans 7:15 – 15 “I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.”
Paul shares his thoughts on his struggle with not doing the right thing and doing the wrong thing.
This is a problem everyone faces – especially in the following areas of personal finances.
- Budgeting We know that we should prepare a monthly written Give/Save/Invest/Spend plan, but for some reason we don’t allocate the time and effort required to make it happen.
- Giving We know that we should give, but we fail to do so when it comes time to write the checks or pay the bills on-line for the month.
- Saving We know that we should be saving money. After all, the children are growing like weeds, and it seems like they will be headed to college tomorrow! The car has special “rattling” sounds, yet we have not saved any money to repair or replace it.
- Investing We know that we should be investing to fund our big-time dreams and prepare for retirement. After all, our bodies are creaking, and it seems to take much longer to get rolling each morning. Yet, we choose to invest little to no money to cover our living expenses and live life to the fullest during our retirement years.
- Wills/Estate Plan We know that we will die someday, but we choose to ignore that reality by failing to have a written will and estate plan.
- Insurance We know that we are going to get sick one day. Yet, we choose to not have health insurance. We know that law requires us to carry insurance for our cars and that we will probably be in a wreck someday, yet some still choose to drive without auto insurance.
- Debt We know that substantial debt can delay or completely prevent the funding of our future plans, hopes, and dreams, yet we choose to “sign the line” anyway.
The LIE that we tell ourselves is this: “Things will be okay. After all, we have made it this far living this way.”
If that is you, let me ask you a few questions:
- Are things REALLY okay?
- Are your dreams fully funded?
- Are you living the life you dreamed of when you were young?
- When was the last time you really allowed yourself to dream?
What do you need to do?
I am so excited to announce that digital versions of my books are now available via Kindle!
You can purchase these books in Amazon by clicking the links below:
- I Was Broke. Now I’m Not.
- What Everyone Should Know About Money Before They Enter The Real World
- Funded And Free
Digital versions of my books will also be available via iBooks very soon or you can use the Kindle version NOW by downloading the Kindle App!
Of course, all of these resources are available via print as well – with group study materials as well – via our STORE.
It was amazing to read all of your feedback on THIS POST! I asked Sarah to share the Top 10 Things She Learned from her year-long spending fast.
=== Sarah’s Thoughts ===
As of today, I have officially gone 365 days without buying anything new. Joe asked me to record the top 10 things I learned from this experience.
Today is March 21st 2012 and I have nothing new I need to buy today. I expect this day will come and go like every other day – I’m even going to the mall and won’t be buying anything but yogen fruz!
Here is how it changed me, and here is what I learned:
- Healthy spending is as much of a lifestyle for your heart as healthy eating is a lifestyle for your body. I’ve adapted to a new lifestyle.
- I still have more than enough. Although I wasn’t purchasing anything new for myself, it was embarrassing how much I already had in my possession. I could still shop at second hand stores. It became a treasure hunt when I needed something. When was the last time you did an inventory check?
- I value gifts so much more. When you aren’t buying for yourself, you really appreciate someone else’s thoughtfulness.
- I learned what was frivolous. When I received a gift card, I put thought into what to purchase and why. There was no thoughtless, frivolous spending.
- Time matters. It was amazing how many times I wanted something in the moment, and how less than 24 hours later I had forgotten about it completely.
- I found a new love for gift-giving! The only time I could shop was to buy gifts for people – so I found a new love for gift-giving! The best part is I never walked out having ended up spending money on myself…
- I focus more on the people I’m with than the products to buy. At the beginning of this challenge, the hardest part came in leisure shopping trips. Now I focus more on the people I’m with than the products to buy.
- I stopped spending so I could give, but giving has to be intentional. Although I wasn’t spending money on ‘new stuff’, it was easy for that money to end up in my savings or on eating out if I didn’t have a plan for it.
- I’m still greedy. It’s something that doesn’t get ‘cured,’ only surrendered. Living in North America, greed is like germs. You just get over a bad cold and go back into a school full of kids with runny noses.
- Generosity can be just as contagious.
=== End of Sarah’s Top 10 Learnings ===
Two Questions for the readers:
- Which learning impacted you the most as you read it?
- Could you take this challenge and see how it changes your spending habits?