Creating a Realistic Spending Plan: Take the 7-Day Challenge

Many of my clients are looking for ways to stretch their dollars. Yet many times they aren’t sure where their money goes each month. If you’re ready to develop a spending plan or workable budget that works for you, join me in this 7-day challenge as we kick off 2011.

Bankrate.com is one of my favorite sites to visit for money-saving and budget saving tips. Adding a twist to their 7-day challenge here are my 4 easy steps to creating a spending plan that fits your lifestyle.

Step 1: One Week’s Expenses. Figure out how much cash you need to cover seven day’s worth of expenses. Include gas, groceries, entertainment, gifts, everything! The point here is to figure out what and where you’re spending your hard-earned money.

Step 2: Be Honest. Don’t deliberately overestimate. The purpose of the challenge is to calculate what you really need. Include your partner in the challenge so you can work together as a team. Then, withdraw the amount of cash based upon your honest estimate of what you’ll need during the next 7 days.

Step 3: Put Cards Away. Now that you have the money needed for the week, put your debit and credit cards away. Yes, take them out of your wallet! It will help keep you honest throughout the challenge. As you make purchases, keep the receipts to help jog your memory at the end of the day. These receipts will come in handy when you’re ready to create a spending plan or budget that is based in your reality.

Step 4: Tell Me How You Did. It’s not about winning, but learning about your money style and spending habits. What did you notice during the week? Did you run out of cash, and need to withdraw more? Let me know how you did and the observations you made. As a reward, I’ll send you some info about the various styles relating to the psychology of money.

When you know where your money is going, then you can find ways to save money that fit with your spending habits and ultimately lead to more money in your savings account. Armed with strategies that fit your lifestyle, you can develop habits that support your short- and long-term financial goals.

To get a free template to track your 7-day challenge expenses, email me at Alison@fiscallyfit.us or call (650) 965-4090.

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