Acting on the Future Today
By Lyndsay King
It is now 2012, what are your plans for the year? Vacations, purchasing a car, watching your child get involved in sports? There are so many things a year can hold, so why not start planning on how you are going to pay for them before they start! One of the biggest problems that I come across when I coach is that people don’t plan ahead, they just spend ahead. Often people don’t look at the big picture when they are working on their budget. I want you to save, pay off debt and live with in your mean, but I also want you to budget in money for life.
So how do you incorporate life into your budget you may ask? Well one suggestion I often make to people is to create a list of events, activities or holidays that will be coming up in 3, 6, 9 and 12 months away. If you know that you are going to be doing an activities later on in the year, start saving for them months in advance so you can pay cash, instead of scrambling to pay for them on your credit card.
Here are some examples:
In three months it will be March:
~Start saving for March break activities for the kids.
~Start saving for the weekend away to go skiing.
In six months it will be June:
~Start saving up for the two weddings gift you will need to purchase.
~Start saving up to pay off your kids camp fees.
~Start saving up for gas money for when you go to the cottage.
In nine months it will be September:
~Start saving up for back to school supplies.
~Start to save up for winter sports.
In twelve month it will be December:
~Start to save for Christmas (It’s the 25th EVERY year!)
~Start to save for your annual New Years Eve party.
Once you have a list of everything you know will be happening, first figure out how much you think it will cost (you may have to do some research and put some thought into it.) Then start to map out when you will need to start saving for that event and how much you will need to put away each month. Who says you can’t start saving for Christmas next year already? (I have!) Why not se aside $20 per month starting in February for school supplies, that way you don’t feel the crunch come September. Summer will be here before you know it, so start saving up money for kids camp now. Thay way the only bite that you’ll feel is from a black fly not from your budget. If people make fun of you for saving for things months in advance, it’s because they are jealous that you have a plan and they don’t. (They are the one that run up their credit card bill and cry in Janurary for what they bought in December.) Start planning head! Make planning for the future a reality and not a thing of the past!