Living comfortably on a budget | On your debt


Many Americans struggle to make ends meet each month. Even those who were previously considered “affluent” find themselves looking for ways to reduce their expenses. By taking the time to budget, you can avoid the financial difficulties and worries that may plague you.

Budgeting means looking at your spending to avoid excessive debt and setting realistic spending and saving goals. With a reasonable budget, you can avoid the constant stress that comes with debt and enjoy your life to the fullest. An achievable and comfortable budget is something that can vary from person to person. It is therefore important for each person to determine what “comfortable” means to them as part of the budgeting process.

Set goals and have a plan

For some, having enough money for a weekend getaway a few times a year can be a goal. For others, being able to eat out once a week or do some non-essential shopping once a month can be a treat. Understanding how to get the most out of your money without worrying about big bills is key to being happy living on a set budget.

No matter where you live, the culture around you affects how you think about money. It is this culture that helps dictate what you consider a comfortable life. If everyone you know drives around in a new $70,000 Tesla while you’re still driving around in your 9-year-old Honda Civic, you’ll notice the disparity. But does this disparity matter to you? Maybe you prefer a good book to an $80 movie for 2 (after popcorn and soda) or a backyard barbecue over dinner at a 4-star restaurant. Where your priorities lie is a determining factor in defining your expenses.

60 day challenge

Track every dollar you spend over the next 60 days. Record every Starbucks coffee, phone app subscription, meal, and candy bar you buy. After 60 days, review each item and ask yourself if it was the best use for that money. You might be very surprised at the results.

Look at your bills/expenses from the last month and note areas where you could save money. Do you need a $4 a day coffee from the local barista or can you make it yourself at home (saving about $20 a week)? Can you save more by packing a lunch, taking public transportation, or buying in bulk? Look around and you’ll be surprised how much you can save each month.

Be satisfied and not sacrificed

Finally, be aware of what many experts call “frugal fatigue.” Being hyper-conscious about spending can become a problem in itself if it leads to the other extreme…. a sudden and unnecessary madness. It is important to recognize financial fatigue if it begins to affect you. If you’re tired of analyzing every dollar you spend, before you ruin your budgeting efforts, take a moment to reflect on how satisfied and stable you’ll feel knowing you have money set aside for an emergency. or a planned expense.

Stick to that budget! If you’re still in the mood to “spend,” stop in for a $4 cup of coffee once a week and stick to that extravagance for now.

Bond & Botes helps people struggling with debt

We are local and offer a free, confidential face-to-face consultation with an experienced attorney. We also offer free consultations in the comfort and safety of your home or office by phone and/or video if you wish. Let us solve your financial problems. There’s no obligation, and that means there’s no downside to gathering the information you need to make good decisions about how to break the cycle of debt stress and go forward. We can answer all of your questions regarding Chapter 7 bankruptcy, Chapter 13 bankruptcy, stopping a foreclosure or wage garnishment, avoiding liens, stopping a lawsuit, l medical debt, personal loans, payday loans, credit card debt, etc. We can relieve your stress! We want to help you, and we can help you!

Bond, Botes, Sykstus, Tanner & McNutt, PC

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