What does baking, education and parenting all have in common? They are all based on a recipe. Think about it, when you’re in the kitchen baking you are following a recipe and the same goes with your education, no matter how far you decided to continue your education there are steps and directions to follow. And while it might not seem like it, parenting too has steps and directions. You have to shower the kids, feed the kids, and educate the kids… I can go on and on. Each of these steps and directions and are essentially recipes in life. And just like those items, your finances also have a recipe!
Whether you are looking to save for the next big thing or for something smaller, there are steps you need to put into place and directions that you need to follow.
For starters, what is your goal? What are you looking to achieve with your saving account? Is it a vacation, to pay off an auto loan or is it a college fund? Now how are you going to achieve that goal? Think about that for a minute and write down what your savings account is for.
The bills are the brownies in the oven that you are waiting to finish. You want to pay them off so you can have the joy at the end and relieve some financial stress. Paying off a bill is like taking a bite of a warm brownie, it’s exciting and comforting. And just like the savings account, when it comes to your bills, you need an action plan. How much are you going to pay monthly? What is your goal for paying down debt?
What’s the recipe?
A financial recipe varies just as a parenting, baking and even educational recipes vary. The first step is to sit down and look at your income as well as a month’s worth of bills. Prioritize the bills you have and what bills need to be paid first. For instance your electric bill is very important unless you like the idea of a dark house. But your cable bill, maybe that is something you can cut down. Your credit card bill is important as you don’t want to accrue tons of interest so maybe you can look at your cell phone bill and see where you can cut from there.
Evaluating your income and expenses is always step 1.
Next you want to create a plan, look at the dates the bills are due. See how you can spread out payments and even call the companies and ask about a later payment option. Sometimes you might get the choice between a bill being due on the 1st or the 15th. And those 15 days can make a world of difference. Create a bill pay calendar so you have a visual aid of your bills and their due dates.
The next step on our financial recipe is to create a budget and stick to it. Just like baking requires you to be precise, we need to be the same way when it comes to our budget. By sticking to a budget it will allow you to feel less financial stress and allow you to save more money than you would have thought. Oh and like I always say, don’t forget to add money into your budget for you!
There it is!
There you have it, a three step recipe to help you stay on target with your finances! Now put this into action and hopefully you will see your savings account grow, your debt shrink and you won’t be so financially stressed.