The minutes in an hour, the year JFK was elected as president, the millions Joakim Noah is paid in his 5 year contract with the Chicago Bulls, and the percent of Americans who have admitted to not having a personal financial budget (NFCC survey).
Oddly enough, 100 million U.S. adults have also admitted that not having sufficient savings is one of their top financial worries. Hmmm…if they realize saving is a problem, then why haven’t they developed a budget? After all, the first step to solving a problem is identifying the problem! Perhaps they don’t know the next steps, it’s too complicated or they simply just don’t care. All plausible reasons as to why people might brush off the idea, but you’d think with 29% of households carrying $2,500 worth of credit card debt month to month, the problem would draw a bit more action. Paying off Your Monthly Credit Card Balance Could be a Sign of Overspending
Or, it’s possible they haven’t identified the specific problem. It’s difficult to cut costs if you don’t know the exact location of your overspending. The Retirement Cash Flow sheet below provides a great visual of your current income/expenses vs. your retirement income/expenses. It also helps to identify those specific locations of where you may be able to cut costs. If you do not have a pre-established budget, it is critical for you to consider how your spending habits affect your retirement savings. Can You Afford College & Retirement?
My suggestions are simple:
Fill out the spreadsheet today. Even if you have a budget in place, this will serve as a friendly reminder of your current positioning. Remember: To maintain your standard of living in retirement, you need to save 10 – 15% of your income and that is if you started saving in your 20’s. When Should Your Kids Start Planning?
Ditch the Credit Card. Aren’t the statistics enough?! Try the cash only practice besides gas.
Review your budget, make adjustments and then check the following month to see where you stand. Repeat each month.
What steps do you take in order to ensure you are budgeting properly?