But where does my money go?

You can’t get where you’re going if you don’t have a roadmap. We’ve talked about setting SMART goals (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time-oriented) in order to succeed in the future, both financially and in life. 

“This is hard!” you said. Yup. Supposed to be. And it’s supposed to be annoying enough that it sticks in your brain and makes you continue to think, when you make social or economic choices, “Does this help me achieve my goals?” 

Things fall into two categories: productive and not productive. By cutting down on the not productive, you will become amazing. It’s a subtle thing, but it’ll happen. One morning you’ll wake up and realize you’ve reached your destination. 

What then? Touchdown dance perhaps? Nope. Time to set new goals and get there, too. 

Now that you’ve set your goals, you might think, “OMG, these things are expensive.” Yup. 

That’s where the budget comes in. 

You can’t meet your financial goals if your money’s flying out the window. When we discuss budgeting, we’ll talk about two schools of thought–this will be a recurring theme in this course. 

1. The School of Savings. Many leading financial planners will tell you to save. Save money, then you’ll have money. Spend money, and the reverse is true. This is a great strategy, one we’ll work on together. 

2. The School of “Spending money on a coffee today doesn’t matter.” Many leading entrepreneurs say the only way to reach your financial goals is to make money. Saving a dollar on a coffee makes you feel deprived. You should budget your money such that you know what you want out of life (see: our lessons on SMART goals), then enjoy those things and eliminate spending on the junk. 

Challenge: 

During the following week, track all of your spending. You can do this using an app or in your notebook. Keep the information all year. We’ll be working with this to construct budgets next week, though. 

Double Secret Challenge: 

If you choose a budget tracker app, review it for the class. Tell what you used, ease of use, whether it’s free or paid, and whether you felt it gave you more awareness of your budgetary situation. 

 

Resources: 

Best Budget Blogs: Learnist 

How to Set up a Budget: Money for 20’s (this is a sneak preview for next week…bring a calculator!) 

Outline: Chapter 6, text outline 

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