This article comes from my own experience. I believe every family should operate on a budget, especially in expensive Florida. Not everyone is good at budgeting; look at our government. They never can come up with a balanced budget. In order to provide for our families properly we have to have a balanced budget, or else we will always be running in the red.
When I worked for a living as a nurse, I ran our home like a business. I kept track of every penny that came into our home, and I watched every cent that we paid out. Since I became disabled and my monthly pay is only a fraction of what it used to be, managing a budget became a lot more difficult. Even though it is difficult, it can be done.
What must we do to manage our finances?
In order to manage your finances, you need to know just how much income you have from every source. For example, I count my income from online sources, as well as my monthly disability income. My income from online sources varies, so I have to guesstimate an average monthly income.
Once you have added up all your monthly income from all sources, you need to list all your monthly expenses, starting with your living expenses. Your housing, utilities, food, and other expenses, such as your vehicles, and car insurance must be included. Your monthly life insurance payments, if you pay them monthly, must be calculated also.
What happens if you have more expenses than you have money?
I quickly found that I had more month than I had money, when I became disabled. Not only did I lose my job due to disability, but I also lost my husband to another woman, so I had to cut back if I were to survive. I lost a lot back then. I lost my home to foreclosure, because I could no longer pay for it. I tried to sell it, but it seemed to me that buyers were just holding off to see if they could get my house for nothing, or nearly nothing.
Fast forward 15 years and I am still struggling, but I am working my way through each month. I had to downsize a lot over the years to get by. A few months ago I decided to give up my cell phone. I still have a cell phone, but it is on my daughter’s family plan, so I don’t have to pay for it. I was paying $50 to $60 a month for my cell phone.
My latest expense that I got rid of was my car. My car was paid for, but it was also a gas hog. The insurance I paid for the car wasn’t worth the time I spent driving it. I couldn’t afford to put gas on it to keep it on the road, so it was a waste of money to keep the car. I probably should have sold the car, but being that it was a gas guzzler I didn’t think I’d get anything out of it anyway.
In this Covid-19 affected economy many folks are finding themselves in the position to downsize. They might have to sell the home they live in to buy a more affordable home. They might have to give up one car and make do with one. They might have to give up driving entirely, and take public transportation. We all do what we have to do to get by.
If you have more monthly expenses than you have money, and you aren’t willing to cut back, or you can’t manage even after cutting back on expenses, you might have to consider getting a second job. If you have a spouse that stays at home, that spouse may have to either find a job that pays her/him to stay home, or go out and work in the public sector.