Most people do not have a spending plan (or even a basic budget, which is not really very useful). Therefore, most people get into debt, thereby, compounding their personal stress. I think if anyone wants to be happy, they need to have a personal money management system so they can spend less than they make, even if they have an emergency.
Let’s use the example of Betty Crocker. Her recipes have three elements to them that guarantee success:
- The right ingredients;
- In the right amount;
- Added in the right order.
If you leave out any one of these, your recipe will fail. For example if you don’t have all of the ingredients you need for baking a cake, or you put in the wrong amounts or say add the egg after the cake is baked, you will not come out with a very good result.
Just like baking a cake, building a spending plan is like following a good recipe. Here is the recipe of how to spend less than you make, regardless of what happens:
- Review the last 12 months of where you spent your money.
- Create categories for your spending.
- Determine based on how you spent money the last 12 months how you will spent money in the next 12 months; estimate a total spending amount per month for each spending category.
- Track your spending against this forecasted amount.
- Review and compare each week how you are spending against how you planned to spend it.
That it! It’s that simple: Forecast, track and compare. Because you may need two to three weeks to build your spending plan using information from the last 12 months, start today. By the beginning of the new year, you will be better prepared to take on 2017. If you need help, go to www.moneymastery.com and sign up for Basic or Select and let these online programs guide you through the process. Get ready for a much different spending plan than what ever you have done before. This one works!