One of the most common things that I hear from people is “I don’t have any money”. The advice from most personal finance people is “just budget”, but there’s countless “budgeting for beginners” templates that are anything but for beginners. It’s not helpful to someone just starting out.
So I’ve written this guide. If you like Excel and making spreadsheets, you’ll probably like it. This is how I personally manage a budget and how I’d recommend many beginners to budgeting and personal finance to start.
So, if we really examine why most people have any money… we can come up with some observations…
I oftentimes see my friends blow money mindlessly and then when it comes time for them to do something to benefit themselves, they claim to not have money. I know people that will go out and spend hundreds of dollars at restaurants, at bars, on sporting tickets, video games, and other unnecessary items but claim that they are not able to save money each paycheck.
When it comes down to it, this is nothing more than an excuse. I used to be one of these people. I was in awful credit card debt when I was in college, but I did the best thing that anyone can do…
Stop. Spending. Money. Mindlessly.
I sat down, confronted my fears, and wrote down everything that I was spending money on. You know that person I described earlier? That was me. Nowadays I have different priorities.
Before my money even touches my checking account I have already had part of my check direct deposited into my savings account, my 401k, my Roth IRA and my Brokerage account.
Those four accounts are never touched as all my bills and “fun money” are used from the remaining funds in my checking account. A number one way that I was able to grab control of my finances was to begin budgeting.
I tried many ways and failed, but it’s not how many times you fail, it’s that you continue to get back up and keep trying. I finally found a method that works for myself and I think it will work for you too. Below are five beginner steps that I followed that really helped me get a hold of my spending habits:[continue reading…]