One of the key concepts to planned spending is planning! The “when” in when you plan is equally important. I often hear people say “I can’t make plans for such and such because I don’t have any money.” Noooooo that couldn’t be more false. Plan when you’re BROKE!
If cash is low to nonexistent right now, it’s the perfect time to develop a plan of how you will spend your money ONCE you have it. There is something very sobering about considering the things you absolute need when you can’t afford to buy them. Suddenly you become more focused and realistic about your needs vs. your wants, and most importantly the meaning of the value of a dollar changes. Might I also add that when you take a planned spending approach you are less likely to spend wastefully when you do have disposable income and more likely to save and make sound investments.
So let’s get started. I want you to grab a sheet of paper and begin your planned spending approach today… now… this very moment!
- Fold an 8.5×11 sheet of paper in half vertically.
- On the left hand side create a list of all the things you absolutely need for the next year, no matter how trivial or small.
- On the right hand side create a list of all the things that you want to have for the next year.
- Once you have everything written down go back and assign a cost to each thing on the list and a location where you can obtain the item, try to be as exact as possible.
- Now realistically look at everything in your “need” column and ask yourself, “How am I functioning without this item right now?” If you have been able to get by fairly easily without this item then move it over to the wants column.
- You are almost done. Now you have a complete realistic list with financial and time expectations assigned.
- Let’s wrap it up by creating short term on ways we’re going to fund your planned spending initiative. Here’s a tip, you may want to use your tax return as funding. Check out this idea in more detail here.
#takemyfoolishadvice I have been practicing planned spending for years. This type of documented financial journey has helped me make financially wise choices as well as identify decisions that lead to huge loses.
- Money Lesson #2 Don’t Buy it Unless it Makes You $ (takemyfoolishadvice.com)