Most people have dreams, small or large, they have dreams. You might wish to travel around the world, seeing ancient and historic sites. Another person may dream of owning a five-bedroom house, with matching furniture, and raising two kids. Your dreams are important to you, but life requires money.
Unless you have a steady income, savings, and a budget for how to spend that money, you will have difficulty attaining some of your dreams. You certainly will not be happy if you cannot attain all your goals.
It does not matter how old you are. Whether you are just beginning your adult life, saving up for college, or in your 60s, you need to have a budget. You need to know what your expenses are, what your income is, and what you can save to ensure you are able to pay for the bigger ticket items you want.
You could also change your desires and wants to live a minimalist lifestyle. True happiness does not come from being a millionaire. Happiness comes from accepting what you have, what you can work for, and the people around you.
If you can accept what is around you and stop being disappointed in what you don’t have—you will find happiness.
Budgeting is a way to look at your lifestyle as it is and discover how to make improvements. Understanding how to budget will ensure that you can work towards some of the things you truly want.
This beginner’s guide will help teach you how to stay out of debt, how to save your money, and provide you with a “start now” plan to get your monetary life on track. Use this guide to figure out what is most important to you and how to get it.
Budgeting begins with a psychological change within yourself. The first step to getting a budget and saving money—is recognizing what you do that inhibits your ability to reach what you desire. Are you the type of person to make a purchase in the now? Perhaps, you are able to wait and save, before buying a big ticket item? Most people who are looking at a book about budgeting tend to buy what they want now, instead of waiting. Others are looking for a way to extend what little money they have, by learning tricks they have not thought of.
The answers are right here at your fingertips. You will discover how to save money on expenses, as well as the psychology of waiting for what you want.
Debt – Is it Good or Bad?
Debt is rarely something you can avoid. There are purchases in life that could take you decades to make, if secured loans did not exist. However, there are also debts that reflect badly on your credit report, if you miss payments. These bad debts are unsecured, and the easiest to obtain. You might be familiar with them—credit cards.
Credit card companies make it extremely appealing to take out a card, increase the credit limit, and spend money. Unfortunately, the high APRs (annual percentage rates) make credit cards highly dangerous to your monetary situation.
Taking on Debt
In life, you will probably have one or more of the following:
- Student loans
- Car loan
- Medical bills
- Tax payments
- Credit cards
Tax payments may occur if you have not withheld enough taxes from your paycheck or if you run your own business. A tax bill is a bad debt to have because the government penalizes you for late payments. You may be in a cycle of paying your tax debt for more than three years, depending on how much you can allocate towards the payment each month. It is definitely not a comfortable situation.
Credit cards are a crutch. Not only can you spend more than you have a need to spend, but credit cards make it easy to do so. Once you get into the cycle of spending with a credit card, the only way to truly stop is to cut them up and never get another card.
Student loans, car loans, mortgages, and medical bills are a part of life. To have a decent career that will pay you a livable wage, you have to go to a university or college. Most employers are not going to look at you if you have not attended a trade school, college, or university.
When it comes to debt and income, one area that you may not have considered is selling a portion or fully cashing in your structured settlement. You may not have even realized that was an option. “Oh, but mine has a clause that I can’t sell it.” Legislation was passed to allow a judge to make exceptions to “no sell” clauses in annuities and structured settlements. As long as your reasoning for wanting to cash out your settlement is sound and of good judgement, it will be approved. The courts want what is best for your situation, especially if you have family members who depend on your for their financial support. Make sure to choose one of the top structured settlement companies listed on top-companies.info when selling your future structured settlement payments.
The process can be quite overwhelming, which is why it is a great idea to get the advice of a professional so you don’t feel overwhelmed which can cause poor decisions. You need a company on your side who not only has a lot of experience, but also one that will have a representative standing by you when you go before the judge to sell your structured settlement. Can you imagine being debt free or finally doing the addition to your house? It can happen with the power of your structured settlement.
Transportation is imperative, but do you need a vehicle? It depends on where you live. If you live in a place without a bus system or other public transportation, then you need a car, bike, or to walk. Walking cuts into the time you spend with your family and earn money, on the other hand it is healthy for you. There are pros and cons, and you have to determine if the pros of having a vehicle outweigh the $10,000 to $30,000 debt you would undertake.
Everyone needs a place to live. Do you have to gain a mortgage? No, but there are more advantages to owning a home than renting a place. These advantages will be mentioned under “planning for big expenses.”
Medical expenses are also something you cannot avoid. Even with the insurance marketplace that was started a few years ago, you still have the possibility of incurring high medical debts. It is an unavoidable debt that you can plan for.
Budgeting requires a proper mindset. It is based on an understanding of good and bad debt. It is also based on the goals you have in mind and what will make you content in life.
Reaching true contentment is difficult. It doesn’t happen overnight, but there are ways to curb your desires. There are ways to alleviate the jealousies you may feel over what other people have.
The best lesson that can be offered is to realize the more expectations and desires you have, the more disappointed you will feel when something does not go well.
The truth about suffering in life is having desires rooted in material goods and pleasures. To end your suffering, you have to stop living a materialistic life. Happiness comes from those who are in your life and the pleasures you take in simple things.
Disneyland is a good example. Disneyland costs upwards of $1500 to $2000 on a vacation special, with a family of 4 or 5. When you go to Disneyland, the temperatures are often 70 degrees Fahrenheit and higher; especially, in summer. Millions of people go to the park each day. Your visit will be standing in long lines, with people pushing around you and being impatient. You will have 2 to 10 minutes on a ride, depending on the ride, but an hour or three hours wait just to get on the ride. The heat will make you hot and irritable. Kids will be impatient and not understand why they have to wait and be bored the entire time they are waiting. They will get hungry while waiting in line. They will get crabby. At the end of the day there could be tears or disrespectful behavior. The words, “this is so boring, why can’t I just get on the ride,” will haunt your brain.
Of course, at the end of the trip all will be happy. Your kids have something to gloat about to their friends who have not gone to Disneyland and they will remember the fun rides, but there will always be a tinge of dissatisfaction because of the long waits. If your child was not tall enough for certain rides that will overshadow the best parts or if a ride scared them, they will remember that more than the fun.
But, if you take your child on a hike, show them a cool bone or hike a rock formation, which costs nothing—your child will remember the entire outing as fun. For some children who don’t like being physical outdoors, it could be an inexpensive free concert in the park, movie, or a free market. An arts and craft fair, wool market, petting zoo, or taking them to a library or bookstore can all be free or inexpensive fun. It is the fact that you took your child out, had fun, and loved them that will matter. Just like you. If you go out and do something free, where you do not have to worry about the expense, you will remember the fun versus the worry over the cost.
If you are not suffering, then you are happy and there are certainly ways to be happy without spending hundreds of thousands of dollars.