At the end of last year, 50.7% of people surveyed said they set no holiday budget at all. Another 15.1% of those surveyed reported that they set a holiday budget… but they ignored it and spent more money than planned.

Now, months into 2018 many people are still paying for their 2017 holiday spending.

It is not a wise financial decision to spend money without a plan, without at least loosely following a budget. We understand that creating and living within a budget can feel daunting to some people. But the fact is that following a reasonable budget is the only way to meet your financial goals.

For example, say you want to save for a down payment on a house. You can put a portion of your income each month into savings and hope that one day the account has enough for the down payment. But reaching financial goals on a hope isn’t likely. Instead, if you follow a budget and save a set percent of your monthly income, you will be able to know exactly when your savings account will have enough money for the down payment on your dream home.

On A Budget

For guidance on budgeting, read our articles 5 Steps to Create A Solid Budget and How to Budget ― Without a Budget, A Practical Strategy. Remember that your budget can be modified to fit your needs and wants. You will still reach your financial goals if you follow your budget most of the time. Don’t be too hard on yourself. Be willing to be flexible. But also be willing to rein in your spending and plan for large purchases.

Don’t Spend Money Without A Plan

First, spend within your budget. Your budget is your money plan. It tells you how much you will save every month and how much you can spend on lattes and a new pair of running shoes.

Second, plan for your financial goals. Set short and long-term financial goals and build your budget around those goals. You know what is most important to you―make sure those things are being prioritized. If being a homeowner is important, then plan how to save your down payment. If taking an annual trip to Tahiti is important to you, then plan for the expense of the trip in your budget. Your budget actually gives you the freedom to do and have the things you truly want.

Third, if you are in debt, make a plan on how to get out of debt. Here we are talking about unsecured debts, like credit card and medical debt. If you are carrying debt forward each month, stop incurring new debt and come up with a plan on how and when you will get your debt paid off, in full. You will not get out of credit card debt if you continue to make new charges while you’re trying to pay off purchases from months ago.

One of the main aspects of financial health is living within (or below) our means. This means our money is spent, and saved, with a plan.

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The Law Office of Barbara B. Braziel helps people get out of debt. We offer free consultations to people of Savannah, GA and the surrounding areas, including Richmond Hill, Hinesville, Pooler, Port Wentworth, Tybee Island, Clyo, Ellabel, Midway, Ludowici, Springfield, Pembroke, Brooklet, and Garden City.

We are a debt relief agency. We help people file for bankruptcy relief under the U.S. Bankruptcy Code.

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