We’re all just trying to make ends meet. With the current events in the world making our day to day uncertain, trying to make ends meet has become even more of a struggle for many Americans. Layoffs, business closings, and cut hours are happening in astonishing numbers. Citizens are filing for unemployment in such large numbers that payments are being delayed well beyond their immediate need for many people. Before the coronavirus crisis it was reported that nearly half of all Americans live paycheck to paycheck and there are even more who cannot cover a $1,000 unexpected expense. When you add in a global pandemic and the current economic decline that comes along with it, it becomes a recipe for disaster.
The government passed a stimulus bill and payments started to be distributed in early April for those who had direct deposit information on file and had filed taxes for the last two years. This one time $1,2000 payment per qualifying adult (and $500 per child) is intended to provide relief for the people. There have been other relief efforts in terms of federal student loan forbearance, rent relief in some states, and extra unemployment funds. However, what good is financial assistance that doesn’t have a solid plan?
Whether sent in the form of relief or your regular paycheck, now more than ever you need to have a plan for it. Crisis aside, why would you want to spend valuable hours of your precious life working to make money only to not know where it went? This occurs for both low income earners and high income earners alike.
A common misconception is that a budget is a punishment or code for “broke”. When in fact a budget is nothing of the sorts. Did you know that you could still buy the things you like and do the things you want and still have a budget? A budget is a plan for what matters most to you. What are your top priorities? What are you willing to invest in? Writing down what matters to you and allocating your income to it is a budget. Easy, right? It’s much easier said than done because finance is 80% behavior and 20% math. I’m not backpedaling when I say this because I truly believe you can have whatever you want. You just have to plan for it. With the right plan and some determination to follow it you can do it!
A budget can reveal how much money you truly have. Remember what I mentioned about the majority of Americans not being able to cover a $1,000 unexpected expense? Having a budget can help you build a healthy emergency fund when you really pay attention to what’s coming in vs. what’s going out. It can help you find money you didn’t realize you had to be able to give to charity, pay down debt, or treat yourself to something you’ve wanted for a long time.
When I first started to budget I struggled to figure out how much I should be spending on each category and compared myself to what the experts told me I should be doing. I had to realize that my budget is solely for me and developed a system that I have been able to stick to for the last few years. Once I got it down it felt like I got a raise! I’m hoping that by starting this blog and coaching business that I can help other people find that moment when they feel like they finally get it; they finally have a way to make their money work for them.
If you’re ready to start and need help, please reach out! I would love to assist you in starting your journey. From determining your goals to creating a personalized budget to achieve them, I’m your person!
Jasmine, the Founder and CEO of Money & Momming is based in New Jersey. Jasmine is wife, mom, and works full time as a supplier quality engineer in the aerospace industry.