Planning your Retirement From Z to A Part VIII. “Budget, budget, budget.”

Blogging Crap with Chip

Stupid budget.

Yes, that’s how many people feel about it and you may be one of those people. Now, you need to ask yourself why? Is it that you don’t understand the concept of budgeting, or maybe you don’t want to confront your bad spending habits? You might be thinking that budgeting is a waste of time.

There are a lot of people who think of budgeting like a diet. ‘I won’t be able to eat or do anything fun.’

According to a 2020 Intuit Survey, 60% of those surveyed didn’t know how much money they spent the previous month. 60%? Does that sound crazy? Not really. Look around, people seem to be struggling financially everywhere. I know, I’ve talked to many of these people and I asked them questions about their finances and they either don’t know the answer or they are embarrassed by the way they spend their money or they just don’t want to talk about how they can fix the situation.

They would rather blame someone else for their problems. The feeling is, if it’s someone else who’s responsible for my misery, then I can’t fix it and I have no choice but to be miserable.

I think the statement above is ridiculous. But, you’d be amazed at how many people think this way. What about you?

If you’re loaded with debt and can barely make ends meet do you blame yourself or do you blame your employer for not paying you enough? Maybe you blame the credit card companies for charging you too much interest? How about criticizing the banks for overdraft fees? Cell phone companies should be denounced for their overpriced products too.

The list goes on and on and on.

I was talking with a twenty-something a little while back. He was telling me how he could barely afford to eat after paying the bills. The first question I asked him was how much he pays for his monthly cell phone bill. He was paying over $180.00 a month for his plan. I noted that that was a lot of money to pay out every month. He told me it included the phone he had. Wow, a cracked screen phone is expensive, I jested.

I went on to tell him that I paid $142.00 a month. He nodded his head in approval. I told him that it was for four lines. Unlimited calling, texting and 2 Gb of Data. He laughed and told me he could use up 2Gb of Data in one day. I teased him: ‘You must be really important, does all that Data spending earn you money? Would you not rather spend $35.00 a month on a phone and eat?’ “Whatever” was his response, “I wouldn’t be caught dead with a cheap Motorola phone and no Data.”

Really? I thought to myself. That’s his priorities? Well, I guess I can’t say it was much different for me in my twenties, when I chose drugs and alcohol over food. I guess it’s like the old saying goes… “Youth is wasted on the young.”

If you’re reading this blog, I suspect that you’re thinking hard about your future and want to make some changes to increase your odds of having a good life free from debt and that you want to increase your chances of a bright future.

I’m not going to say that budgeting is the only way to financial freedom. But I will say that it’s the only way for the majority of people who are low to moderate income.

If you read the last blog and followed the instructions then you have all your bills out and can see where your money is going. That’s a good first step.

Remember that we’re in for the long haul. This isn’t a get rich quick scheme that you’re building, it’s a plan for your retirement so that you’re able to live the best possible life you can plan.

Secondly I need you to know that my budgeting ideas are not a “one size fits all” idea. Every single situation is different and therefore everyone needs their own specific plan. The ideas I am putting forward will need to be massaged and built for your specific needs. If you have questions or need help, feel free to add a comment below and I will do my best to respond with something helpful.

Today’s goal is a tough one. I want you to prepare yourself… you’re going to call the credit card companies and see if you can get your interest rates lowered. Yes you can.

Here is a very good article that you should read before you start making the calls.

Come back for step number two. And please leave a comment below and tell us how you did.

To be continued…

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