My frugal friend, it’s time to make a budget.
There are eleven simple categories in frugal budgeting:
Giving Savings Housing Utilities Food Transportation Clothing Health Care Personal Things Just for Fun Debt
Why should I give to anyone when, basically, I think I am the one who is in need?
There are many reasons to give. The one reason, however, is we give so others aren’t lacking their basic needs. Another reason is to remind ourselves of the positive things our money can do. Just think, if the money you make can do for these groups, just imagine what your money can do for you.
The next question is; who should I give to? Find a charitable organization that you trust and fits with your personality or with your goals in life. You need to know that they will distribute your gift to those you choose. I recommend that you research the organization. Many states have web pages dedicated to investigating how and where each charitable organization spends its donation. For some this is easy. Others may need to search deeper
In frugal budgeting you need to pay yourself first. It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking “how can I save when I have so much debt that I am drowning in?” Even if it is a small amount - $5.00 or $10.00 a week – will add up and go a long way. When unexpected problem arises it is nice to have a little something to help pay for it.
It is so important to have a place to go to keep you safe from the elements. Besides, you need a place to hang your hat. This should always be on the top of your priority list. It is a necessity.
Utilities and being Frugal
Utilities still fall under needs, but not all of them. I remember when we bought out first house back when the market was good. The banker said “always pay your mortgage or rent, because you can always sit in the dark.” This thought has always stuck with me. Your housing – whether you own or rent - should always be paid before anything else. It is way too easy to get behind, and we need someplace to live.Back to utilities. So what kinds of things are in this category? They would be· Electricity· Water· Gas· Phone, cell phone and internet· Trash· CableSome are really important – heat in winter for example – others are not. Two hundred channels of television may fill the hours, but it will never keep you warm.
Nourishment for Living
We all need to eat in order to live. This is absolutely a need.Food simply includes groceries and restaurants. We try not to eat out to much, so that when we do it feels like a treat.
The sixth category is getting around. Having some sort of transportation to get to work and other activities is important – what you drive. When you add it up, it can be expensive:· Car payment· Gas/ Oil/ Repairs/ Tires/ License/ Taxes/ Tolls/ Insurance.
If you don’t have a car, a bike or public transportation would fall under this category. It is always fun to watch people while riding the bus or subway. If you ride your bike or walk, what a great way to exercise and save on gas!
It is obvious that clothing is a necessity. We need to wear something to be protected from the elements and it is just crazy to think you could go without clothing. If you have children this is an expensive category since they just keep growing. Topics to be aware of:· Clothing· Repairs and Mending· Dry Cleaning· Laundry Soap, Softener and Starch.
My favorite line from the movie Princess Bride is where Count Rugen asks Prince Humperdinck to come down into the dungeon to watch his work and Prince Humperdinck says, quite sincerely, “Tyrone, you know how much I love watching you work, but I've got my country's 500th anniversary to plan, my wedding to arrange, my wife to murder, and Guilder to frame for it. I'm swamped.” In response, Count Rugen deadpans, “Get some rest. If you haven't got your health, then you haven't got anything.” That line cracks me up.
There is truth to Count Rugen’s phrase. Nothing matters in the world when you’re sick. I’m sure you could think of a loved one that you would give up everything you own just for them to be healthy. This category will always be there. Don’t cheat yourself on being healthy.
The categories include:· Health Insurance· Doctor Bills/Copays· Dentist· Prescriptions
Some personal stuff is a “want,” and other things are a “need.” We will try to give you hints on how to be thrifty in some of these areas. We are all human though, and sometimes we just have to pamper ourselves to feel good.· Life Insurance· Childcare· Toiletries· Cosmetics· Hair Care· School Tuition· School Supplies· Education Kids, Adults Extracurricular Activities, Musical Instruments/Lessons, Groups (4H, Scouts, etc. . . .), Sports, Dance· Child support· Alimony· Subscriptions· Organization Dues· Gifts, Birthdays, Christmas and Holidays
Just for fun
We all need some time away from home. I find that when I get away for a while, I get a fresh view of things. I return home with new ideas and a new appreciation for home. Topics under this would be:
· Vacations· Movies· Museums· Sporting Activities· Fishing/Hunting
Once again, over the next few pages I will be sharing activities that are nice to your pocket book and your new thrifty lifestyle.
The last category is the icky word - “Debt”. This includes credit cards, bank loans, student loans, store cards. Simply put debt is money we have borrowed from someone to pay for things in our life. Society sees some debt as an investment – school loans or a mortgage, for example, while other debt is deemed bad debt – credit cards or a line of credit. All debt must eventually be paid off. With a frugal plan, there is
The backbone to any frugal budgeting is planning. My frugal friend, it’s time to make a budget.
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