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Budgeting.

Are you having trouble coming up with money to invest? Try this- Review your day: you wake up, get dressed, stop on the way to work or school to get a cup of coffee ($2/day), buy lunch at a fast food restaurant ($5/day), come home exhausted so you eat out ($60/week), have a glass of soda/beer ($5/week), and go to bed.

*Coffee $2/day = $60 per month (daily)
*Lunch $5/day = $100 per month (5 days a week)
*Eat dinner out twice a week = $60 per week = $240 per month
*Soda or beer/wine = $5 per week = $25 per month (5 days a week)
*Do you smoke? If you do, $20 per week = $80 per month

Grand total = $505 per month.
I am sure you can find other items to add to this list. If you have a checking account, review your last month's entries into your checkbook. How many items were not needed? I noticed many "cash" withdrawals from all of the times I went to the ATM. I never wrote what the cash was for. The next month I started to write the reasons for the cash withdrawals and I was astounded at the amount of money wasted on little things. Twenty dollars here, forty dollars there, it added up to hundreds of dollars every month.
You may also try to reduce your debt by reducing the rates on your credit cards and loans. The Financial Center has many links to these resources. Saving starts with discipline. Review your expenses, make a budget, stick to it, and have the money that you want to invest deposited directly into the investments from your payroll or bank account. Now that you know you have the money to invest, get started!
*Excerpt from, Basic Investing Guide For The New Investor, (ISBN 0-595-21183-6) available in bookstores everywhere. Submitted by its author Alfred V. Scillitani

 

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