Financial Stress – Leading the Elephant Out of the Room Part II

Blog Author Suzanne Klenk

Written by: Suzanne Klenk

Published: July 24, 2015

Found in: News/Press

Okay - we've had some crucial conversations and now we are ready for action!

The very next step is to create a road map for success. Get your pencils ready.  

We begin with a spending plan.  

I dislike the word "budget"...it sounds restrictive, like a straightjacket. Spending plan speaks to choice and the freedom to make changes as needed. The important thing to remember is that every dollar needs to have a name and a purpose. Without a name and a purpose, money slips away and we lose the power it could have in changing our lives.  

Your spending plan should begin with you and your family as a priority, i.e. SAVINGS! Savings is at the top of our list. Always, always pay yourself first. Ten percent of our gross monthly income is this goal, but for those of us that have not established a habit of saving, I suggest this guideline: whatever you can put away and not take out at the end of the month and not use a credit card...that is where we begin. Try to make it at least $25.00 per month. Maintain that for three months and then increase it by $10.00 each month thereafter. Before you know it....you're a SAVER!  

Now that savings is in place, let's get down to business...   The next component of your spending plan should be your four walls, i.e.:    

  • Rent/mortgage
  • Food
  • Utilities
  • Transportation  

Nothing takes priority over your four walls and the family that resides within them. A solid foundation is made up of stable housing, good, nutritious food, heat and a way to get to your job. Don't pay anything else before these needs are met.  

Savings and four walls...big steps for those of us who are recovering from the last several years of uncertainty. The next installment will be tackling debt. Stay tuned!    If you have questions about this process, you can email me at sklenk@wsecu.org.  

Financial Freedom...here we come!  

Suzanne Klenk