I challenge you to take one step toward abundance today — but before you do that take some money out of your wallet — five or ten dollars — and put it away somewhere. Pledge not to touch this money. We’ll talk more about this money later.
The first step toward abundance is to know where we are.
So let’s find out. Here are a few quick steps toward making that happen. And, yes, spoiler alert: We’re creating a budget.
Here are the steps:
1. How much money do you have coming into our household each month?
I choose a month because many bills are due on a monthly basis.
Add up all your income minus the money taken out for taxes. This is a critical number. This is the amount of money that you can spend — after saving.
2. What is your basic recurring monthly expenses?
- List the bills that are usually the same amount each month. These might include rent or house payment, car payment, child care child support costs, cable TV, and phone.
- List recurring monthly expenses that vary from month to month. These might include utility expenses, credit card expenses, and insurances.
3. What are your ongoing costs for living each month?
- List typical food expenses — this should include grocery items plus dining out costs
- List house maintenance costs — include cleaning supplies, lawn maintenance, cleaning services, etc.
- List personal maintenance costs like haircuts, nails, gym membership, etc.
- List clothing expenses.
- List medical expenses — doctors, prescriptions, etc.
- List costs of pets — food, vet bills, grooming and boarding costs.
- List your gas and other car expenses.
- List other expenses such as entertainment, club dues, magazine subscriptions, etc.
- List once a year or so expenses like vacations and such and divide by 12 to come up with the monthly allocation.
WOW! We have so many obligations to spend our finite amount of income on. How can we possibly manage? We’ll talk about the how in future blog entries, but know that I know how tough all this is.
Today our goal is just to know the numbers because we have to know these numbers — regardless of how challenging they are — if we want to control them.
OK — you’ve done the work. Now you know the numbers.
What’s the difference between the income and the expenses? Is it positive or equal or negative?
If it’s positive — and you’re saving the difference — you’re on your way to abundance.
If it’s equal — with just a little sacrifice and work — you’re on your way to abundance.
If it’s slightly negative — it’s a harder journey — but you, too, can be on your way to abundance.
If it’s very negative — we’ve got a lot of work to do — but if you want it bad enough, you too, can gain abundance.
Let’s figure this out together.
One last thing — download a budget app from your favorite online source and use it, or create a budget spreadsheet and use it. (Here’s an online option with a free version: www.budgetsimple.com.)
Whatever tool you choose, what’s important, is that you track what you make and what you spend every day! You have to know your numbers.
It’s the number one step to abundance.