A Real Plan For Your Life – Financially
It is YOUR Budget – Not Ours!
When I mention the word “budget”, what is the very first thing that you think about? In most cases, people immediately think about restrictions and suddenly they are never going to have any fun again. They think that budgets are suffocating and harsh.
As we have worked with people over the last many years, their reasons for establishing a budget are very, very different. Some people want to reach a specific monetary goal – they want to have “so much” in savings. Some people just want the collection department to quit calling their house! They live in crisis mode all of the time and are constantly feeling the pressure of others on how they should handle their finances. Others want to eliminate their debt and create a plan for their future and still others just feel like they are a rudderless ship – floating around without a real goal in life.
All of these are legitimate reasons for starting a budget and sticking to a real plan for your life – financially. What we have found interesting over the years is that most people think that WE are going to create a budget for YOUR family. They think that we are going to create a bunch of rules for them that they must live within and somehow restrict their spending and never allow them to have any fun.
Honestly, nothing could be farther from the truth.
When we sit down with a family, we discuss – in detail – what is important to YOUR family and how you spend YOUR money. We are never judgmental about your spending habits or where you spend YOUR money. We may make some suggestions about how to save a few bucks here and there but, at the end of the day, this is YOUR budget and we want to help YOU meet YOUR financial goals – not ours!
When creating any budget, you need to make sure that you are taking care of your four basic needs – food, clothing, shelter and transportation. Once you have created a plan around those four items, you can start filling in the gaps with “other” things. If you have enough money to play golf every day and your basic needs have been met – Fine!
It is extremely satisfying to sit down with a family and find out about their financial goals and then help them to create a real plan to meet those goals. Recently we sat down with a family who felt that they were making good money, but they felt like it was all slipping through their fingers. When we sat down with them and reviewed their spending habits over the last few months, we found that they were spending a bunch of money at restaurants. Their lifestyle was very busy – lots of baseball games, swimming events and “kids” activities. They didn’t have a lot of time at home but spent most their evenings at events.
They were right! Most of the money that they were earning was being spent at restaurants to grab something to eat in between events and activities. After a quick review of their spending habits, we were able to create a “food” budget for them that included a trip to the grocery store to purchase items to help them cut this spending “hole” in their budget.
Sometimes just another set of eyes can make all the difference. Let us meet with you today and give you some innovative ideas.
If this makes sense to you but it just seems impossible or overwhelming, give us a call and schedule an appointment. We are experts at it and will be happy to offer you some basic direction and advice. It is what we do at Hollander & Associates.