In preparation for this post, I did some extensive reading on unemployment and on the importance of taking your “financial temperature” in your life. If you are employed, self employed, unemployed or just wondering how to budget, this post will help you. Let’s get down to business.
Take out a piece of paper. We aren’t looking for pretty and neatness here. We are looking for function and clarity around where our financial temperature is.
Make 6 columns.
Here are your headings: Monthly Payment Category Existing Budget Monthly Guideline Budget Difference Actually Available New Monthly Budget
Under the first column write in your categories from the last two posts: Housing, Taxes, Food, Auto, Insurances, Debts, Entertainment, Clothing, Savings, Medical, Misc., Church giving, School/Child care, ….etc…
Write in the second column what you really spend (Existing Budget) (in reality you may not have a budget, just put in what you actually spend)
Write in what would be the actual percentage listed in the first post on March 24, 2010 for each of your categories based on what you make “NET”.
OK now what is the difference in the column marked “Difference”?
Write that number in as it corresponds to each of your line items.
Now if you are getting unemployment funds, or you have a new part time job, or other sources of money and you are tightening that belt even further, you may not have the actual percentages to fill each of the categories. So now in that column of what is “Actually Available” you will fill in what is only necessary to survive at this point.
This is now your “New Monthly Budget”.
This is often a big eye opening experience for most who have never lived under a budget nor taken a good hard look at where money goes once it goes into their bank account.
What’s coming up for you at this moment?
I am not a financial adviser. I am a person who has coached individuals and families in uncovering their own new “Awareness” of where they are financially. This is often a rude awakening for those who have never done this type of work on their own lives and their financial health.
There are many free resources available to you in your community, at your bank, at your credit union, on the internet, in your local church or place of worship and many people who do this type of work as a service to those in need. If this describes you, please seek out the help that you need.
Next time, we will discuss What Is Essential For Living while unemployed.