Well, Tweet it, too, if you want.
Identifying your big goals, dreams, and life projects can help you modify your spending plan and the way it works for you.
But the thinking also trickles down to individual categories. Just listen to what others have shared.
Under “Savings and Investments,” one woman found it easy and effective to have a percentage of her paycheck deposited directly into her credit union savings account each week. “The best part is, you never even miss it,” she asserted.
Under “Food,” another told of the joys of a local co-op, for price or quantity, and the farmers market, where freshness is an advantage.
“Clothing” may lead you to a consignment shop filled with barely used designer labels at bargain prices. Where we live, yard sales often have great deals, especially when the sellers are more interested in moving the goods than in getting top dollar. (Do I get to brag about my $300 Brooks Brothers hand-knit Irish sweater we got for $2? You have no idea how many people insist on looking at the label when I wear it … and I’ll let them think I paid full for it, if they wish.)
Penny Yunuba, a Boston Quaker who used Joe and Vicki’s plan to achieve her own financial independence, divided Clothing into “necessary” and “feel better” columns, and her Recreation cluster had “eating out,” “vacations,” “movies-videos,” and “other.” Eating out isn’t food? How curious. Her other quirks were just as instructive. She placed “vitamins” under Health, rather than Food — possibly because she bought hers at a pharmacy or health food store, rather than the grocery. At the top of her page were two quotes from George Fox, an early Quaker leader: “Walk in the Truth and the love of it up to God,” and “Wear it as long as thou canst,” which supposedly was the advice he gave William Penn about a ceremonial sword. Penny’s application, of course, was a reminder to get maximum use of the clothing itself.
Penny’s spread sheet was adapted from a Mennonite accounting model in which the first 10 percent goes straight to the church, as does anything that’s left over. Since the Mennonites rely heavily, and in the past totally, on a lay ministry, this model encourages additional contributions for educational assistance, care of the elderly and orphans, disaster relief, missions work, and similar forms of community nurture. Some people might consider a basic modification that would keep the first 10 percent for the church and place whatever’s left over in a “donations and gifts” category. Others might put the first 10 percent straight into donations and gifts or some priority field.
Be creative when you look at your spending plan, and identify categories that are uniquely yours.
What kind of accounting form or system are you using? Paper or digital?
Where did you find it, and why did you select it?
How have you modified it?