You've pulled yourself out of debt, are saving a reasonable amount of income for your retirement, have built an emergency fund, and your daily needs are easily met with your income. Congratulations! Now what?
That's exactly where I was in 2007. I sold my business and generated a huge windfall — over a million dollars. I paid off all my debt. And then I looked around and said, "Oh, crap."
I had absolutely no idea what to do with my money. Previously, any extra money I'd earned was immediately stuffed back into my business, and I had been running deficits nearly everywhere. This was the first time in my adult life I'd ever had my head above water, financially speaking. Continue reading...
Do you hate the very thought of budgeting? Does tracking every dollar you spend seem like a waste of time — or, worse, an activity guaranteed to curtail your spending "freedom"? Good news, then...you and I are a lot alike! But one month, after spending over nine hundred dollars on clothes — and not realizing it until I got the credit card bill! — I recognized I needed to rethink my assumptions about budgeting.
Overcoming obstacles to setting up your budget
Even after reading a lot of articles and several books on how to create a budget (including some here on Get Rich Slowly), none of them ever really stuck with me. I'd flip through them, thinking that they sounded great, but kept putting them off. Each month I put them off, though, was a month I veered dangerously closer to being financially "upside down".
I realized that I had two beliefs I needed to get past before setting up a budget:<
There is one reason most of us don't learn how to invest, start a business, or even can our own food — we just don't have the time to do those projects. Between jobs that force us to work ever-longer hours, and growing duties at home, there never seem to be enough minutes in the day!
I wanted to go deeper, though, so I delved into research to answer two questions:
- First, how do we actually use our time?
- And secondly, which activities could be cut down or outsourced to allow time for pursuits we really want?
Immediately, I assumed that we could outsource housecleaning tasks to free up time for our passions. I was right: we work on housework an average of 14.7 hours per week, or nearly 765 hours per year! However, my triumphant post about outsourcing housecleaning work was met with one criticism: "I simply don't have the money to do that." Continue reading...