B U D G E T. From the halls of Congress to dining room tables around the globe, no other word can stir emotions and cause contention like “budget.” Just mentioning it causes most people to squirm. For years my wife and I both avoided talking about budgeting. We really didn’t think we needed it. Life was good and we were doing ok.
Then one day it all caught up with us. We had around $90,000 in debt, not counting our house. It was all student loans, cars, and credit cards. We were living paycheck to paycheck, barely able to cover our bills and daycare payments. We finally realized something needed to change or our marriage and my business wouldn’t survive.
Does this sound familiar? The past few months have been tough for pretty much everyone. So many people have lost their jobs. Income sources have dried up while bills have continued to pile up.
As the closures started happening, I heard lots of advice being given to renegotiate credit card interest rates and get your lines of credit increased so you can weather the shutdown. The only problem with that is you come out on the other side with even more debt. It may keep your business afloat temporarily, but then you have to figure out how to live and pay it all back.
Being stuck between a rock and hard place is no fun, but there is a solution. A written budget can make all the difference in the world. Believe me, when we found ourselves stuck under a pile of debt we didn’t think we could get out of, a budget was our lifeline. As of last October, we’ve now paid off all of our debt, with only our mortgage remaining.
Plus by adjusting our budget over the past few months we’ve not only been able to survive, but we were able to finish saving for our emergency fund.
So whether you’re trying to save your business, plan for a wedding, or just create a better life for your family, a zero based budget just might be your answer.
So why don’t you give it a try? What else have you got to lose?
Rich Burkhart is a full time wedding photographer as well as a certified Master Financial Coach