Budgets and Changing Finances
Are budgets forever? Can the budget you prepared 2 years ago help you manage your money today? The answer is NO. Budgets are not forever and what was true two years ago is not true today not where your budget is concerned.
Even if your income has not changed, expenses have gone up and perhaps some have decreased or even been eliminated. Your TSP balance has certainly changed and possibly the amount of FEGLI that you should own. Budgets are not static, but must change as circumstances in your life change.
Why do we need a budget? We need a budget to stay on track and monitor our expenses against our income. You may choose to keep your budget in an automated progam such as a spreadsheet like Excel or some other financial software program that you find suitable. You can also rely upon your bank / credit union or financial advisor to help you put together a realistic goal for both savings and expenses.
Keeping your records organized and in separate files will make getting ready to file your annual taxes a cinch. You will not have to run around collecting and sorting mountains of receipts kept in shoe boxes. I am not saying you shouldn’t use the shoe box method of filing. If you do, your file boxes should act as individual folders all containing unique information. You don’t have to take all the shoe boxes to your accountant, rather you can separate the materials out into individually marked envelopes for easy assessment.
Although, we live in an increasingly automated society many individuals are more comfortable doing things manually. The entire planning process and getting prepared for retirement is individual. The concentration and focus is more about you reaching your goals than on how you do it. We want to reach the finish line with our bags filled with everything we need to retire well.
P. S. Always Remember to Share What You Know.