Thursday, September 30, 2010

Be FAIR to Your Money and Stick to Your Spending Plan(Budget)

Making a spending plan is easy. Sticking to it? That’s another story. The hardest part of having a spending plan is actually following it. I’m nervous that I will blow mines out of the water during my 30 Day Spend and Save Challenge. After doing some research on “sticking to a budget” (sorry for using the dirty word), I came up with an acronym to help me stick to my plan. It's FAIR.

Flexible- In order for your spending plan to work, you have to be flexible with yourself. If you overspend in one of categories, pull money from other categories where you spend less money. You can also compromise with yourself. If you want to go to a concert that takes up most of your entertainment budget, cut back in other areas. Stay in for the weekend, eat less expensive food, or ditch Starbucks and fast food. You should also review your spending plan at least once a month. If something isn’t working, make changes.

Accountability- Sometimes you need someone to help you stay motivated and keep you accountable for your actions. Share your spending plan with someone you trust. Review your plan and spending habits with them at least once a month. Make sure you pick someone that will question your spending habits. I’ve asked you guys to help me stick to my plan. I hope you keep me on my toes. I am going to give a report every week.

Incentive -Create incentives to help you stick to your plan. Rewards and incentives help you to stay motivated. If you manage not to exhaust your clothes budget, use the extra money and  reward yourself to a nice dinner or something else you like. Remember, a good reward could be putting that money into savings.

Remember- Why did you start a spending plan? What financial goals are you trying to achieve? Remembering your goals will also help you to stay motivated. It will also help you to fight the temptation to spend money on unnecessary things or break your budget. A visual piece can help you remember your goals. Write them down or find something that represents your dreams. Put them in a place where you can easily see them. You can put them in your wallet, so you can see it every time you are about to spend your money. One of my goals is to relocate to either NY or LA to work in entertainment. Maybe I’ll use my Metro Card for the NYC Subway.  

During my 30 Day Spend and Save Challenge, I’ll remind myself to be FAIR to my money. Besides, a spending plan is suppose to put me in control. I hope you guys will take the 30 Day Spend and Save Challenge with me and be pair FAIR to yourself.

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