This is part of a multi-part series. If you haven’t read Part I, you may want to start there!
In last month’s blog entry, we took a practical look at your income vs. your expenses and determined the amount of income you have available each month to set aside for your dream wedding. Congrats! The hardest part is over – ok…I’m lying. The HARDEST part about a budget is actually sticking to it. So, before I get into how to use this new-found information a few words about living on a budget:
1) If you say you are going to put it aside, actually put it aside. Most people don’t have their finances meticulously managed to the point where they can put everything in one account and NEVER succumb to temptation to spend a little of what’s in there. Many couples find it helpful to open a separate account and having money either directly deposited each paycheck (through direct deposit) or by autotransfer through their online banking.
2) Pretend the money isn’t there. As you see the thousands accumulate in this account, it will be tempting to dip into this account. “It’s just a sandwich”, “It’s only $60.00”, “I’ll replace it later”… remember, you already know EXACTLY how much money you expect over the next X-number of months. If you aren’t expecting an extra $60.00, for example, the $60.00 you are taking now will NOT be replaced. Which brings us to point 3…
3) Remember, money doesn’t grow on trees. If you spend it, it’s gone. Things happen, emergencies pop up, cars breakdown, friends come into town unexpectedly and want to spend a week with you at Disney World. If you are prone to these sorts of shenanigans, we would recommend you go back to Part 1 and set a fixed amount of money in your “Fixed Monthly Expenses” to account for an “emergency” or “didn’t see that coming” fund. Putting $50 or $100 aside each month for “EEK!!!” situations will make your planning a lot less stressful financially.
In next month’s blog, we will talk about how to use your budget; We will allocate your budget to vendor categories and teach you how to USE this information to shop for vendors.