Ever run out of money before the end of the month? Do you sometimes feel like you're robbing Peter to pay Paul? For many people, thinking about their finances and understanding how money works can be a bit overwhelming - they simply feel like there is too much going on, most of which is out of their control. However, it doesn't have to be that way. People looking for help are either buried with too much information or don't trust the people giving financial advice. With Money Mondays, Austin doesn't want to overwhelm, confuse or hoodwink you. He simply wants to try to provide information succinctly and simply, and his advice is FREE.
Financial planning is the art, if you will, of understanding money, how it works, where it goes, and how to keep more of it. Your money is yours, and keeping your money in your pockets (as much as possible) is the goal of financial planning. It doesn't require a college degree, nor does financial planning require a keen mathematical ability. All you have to bring to the table is a desire to gain control over your money, and a willingness to do what is necessary to secure the financial future of you, your family, and your future generations.
Austin's goal for Money Mondays is to teach you how to gain control over your money and make it work for you - not someone else. Today is the first entry of Money Mondays, so we'll take it slow and build from there. If there is ever any topic you want to learn more about, simply suggest it in the comments section or visit Austin the Realtor's site for helpful hints. With that said, let's go!
Savings and Debt 101...by Austin the Realtor
Ok, I’ve been asked to provide some insight on what we will call “Money Mondays.” As noted on previous blogs, I’m a licensed Real Estate Agent and a Licensed Financial Representative, so I may some information that can be helpful.
I would like to start off the series by being inclusive of the blog family. Today I would like to focus on Savings and Debt. As we progress, together we will set up tools to assist in achieving short and long term goals. I will also provide some insight on the home buying process which may fall in line with some of these goals.
Let’s start off with the fundamentals. Knowing where your money goes is a good way to see where your money went! You would be surprised to see how much is spent on small frivolous purchases that can be avoided. It’s always good to have a record of expenses - and include ALL expenses. Everything from mortgage/rent to that cup of coffee every morning at your local coffee shop. A simple excel spreadsheet would suffice. Once your outflow is determined, record your income. Once this data is determined, you may see why you run a little low just before your next payday. Now it's time to trim the fat. Look at your list of outflows and see what you can do without. Make coffee at home instead of buying Starbucks (aka Four Bucks!). Buy a pack of bagels from the supermarket instead of spending $2.50 at Au Bon Pain. Whatever works for you - see how the numbers start to add up.
Note: Pay yourself just like any other bill. Set a dollar amount that is dedicated to savings and pay that with all of your other bills.
There are many apps that can assist with the record keeping also. For Android users – Tap Money and Budgetroid. For IPhone users – Budgetbuster and CoinKeeper.
Share some other tips you use to “trim the fat” without drastically changing your lifestyle - Go!
Over the years, I've been blessed to have spent time with, befriend, love, learn from and share experiences with people who have helped me grow and inspire me everyday. They have shared words of wisdom, strengthened me with encouragement, gave me joy with a smile, comforted me with a hug, gave clarity to my visions and dreams and renewed my spirit with faith. It is through family and friends that I manage to be happy and hopeful.
These relationships work because we share our philosophies, our personal truths and an outlook that prompts us to seek something greater in all and in ourselves. Sharing a journey heartedly illuminates our lives and enriches our experiences. It keeps us moving....always evolving....ever changing.
I have been transformed by the wisdom, opinions, insights and revelations of those who have shared their journey with me. It's a blessing I long to share with you through my first ever blog. For me, writing is a reflection of my own direct experience and I look forward to all of you sharing your thoughts and experiences with me.
So...with that said....can I just say.....??? :-)