Each day of the series offers new tips, ideas and a challenge to start the year with a solid financial plan.
The first thing we need to do is start organizing our finances. Gather your receipts, bills, pay stubs, insurance policies, bank statements—if it’s got a number on it, related to your personal finances, you’re going to need it to work through the budget process. If you have selected paperless billing, you can either print the most recent statement or simply bookmark each website.
In a perfect world, you already keep your paperwork in order so today’s step will be incredibly easy. In reality, your papers are probably in a bit of disarray (or, let’s face it, complete chaos throughout your home) so this could take much of your day. However, you don’t need to worry about doing anything with it for now—just track it all down to be ready for the next step.
You will need to refer to this paperwork for the next several days, as you create a budget plan. Prepare a work space to use for the next 31 days. Ideally, you should have a dedicated place to manage household finances. Clean off a desk, if you have it, or find a box to keep everything together so you can work with the space you have.
That’s it—I told you we were going through this step by step. The plan is to build a simple budget, tackle just a little each day and work your way up to solid financial footing. When you’ve finished today’s challenge, leave us a comment, shout it out on Facebook or use the #31DayBudget hashtag on Twitter—I’d love to share in your success!
I’m not a financial planner or a budget expert. I’ll just be walking you through the steps I take each time my budget needs an adjustment. In fact, I’ll be participating myself!