(Center Grove, Indiana – April, 2012) Personal finance. What is it? Personal means the noun or object belongs to a specific person. Finance refers to money or liquid resources of an individual. It shouldn’t be a mystery, but for some of us, it sure can seem that way. How we relate to and manage our money is impacted through life experiences. With this being the first issue of Center Grove Community Newsletter, I want to lay the foundation for this topic.
Do you ever really think what money does for us? It doesn’t do anything; it’s about what we choose to do with it. Money doesn’t know what’s in our hearts or what struggles are in our lives. Money will do whatever you want it to; it is amoral. It does not know right from wrong. What is right or wrong is whether or not we are intentional with our money. Do you have a plan? I hope so. Are there areas that may need attention? Perhaps.
A household budget is the foundation of managing your finances. It would be a little weird for a business to operate without a budget. Why do we? I know my husband and I did not until we had been married for eight years. Before kids, we would start our Sundays with breakfast at Mimi’s Café and the Sunday paper. We’d eat and then shop. We didn’t discuss money; we lived in the moment. Later, we came to a crisis point that was so severe that we could have lost our home or called it quits as a couple. That was the moment we knew we had to get serious with our finances.
Fast forward to the present. I can tell you we are much more dialed into our finances and are able to do things we never would have thought possible. The hardest step is actually sitting down as a team and looking at the income and outgo on paper. Nothing is left out. Include every dollar that is spent: housing, transportation, utilities, food, debt(s), insurance, extracurricular activities, etc. I encourage you to set a budget committee hearing within your home. Married couples are a committee. If you are single, find a friend to help you be accountable. Heck, be accountable to each other.
I promise you, it will be eye-opening. Control your money; don’t let your money control you. Which would you rather experience: more month than money left OR more money than month left? It’s all in being proactive and engaged in handling your personal finances. Upcoming articles will dive into the budget areas of utmost importance as well as other topics having to do with money. Start building your foundation for financial success and protect your 4 walls.
Kate Rhoten is a financial expert of what to do and not do with money as well as owner of 4 Walls Financial, A Coaching Focused Company. She has attended and completed Dave Ramsey’s Counselor Training. Follow Kate on Twitter @4WFCoach, reach out to her via email at email@example.com or visit www.4wallsfinancial.com. Feel free to share ideas or questions for future articles.