Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Zero-Based Budgeting - Building a Budget from the Ground Up

Welcome to the Finance Gym Action Plan for a Better Life with money. My name's Stacey Powell, and if you're ready to not just know better, but to do better with your money, then you've come to the right place.

The latest series of videos we've been doing is focusing on budgeting and today we're going to talk about zero based budget ideas.

I'm assuming a whole bunch of you that are watching these videos are probably having a little bit of a hard time shoving it all in to make it make sense.

I know that's where I was when I started out. Actually, it kinda still is where I am, it's just that the things I'm trying to shove in now are so much better than what I was trying to shove in years ago.

So zero-based budgeting ... have you ever heard of it before? We don't really talk about it with personal budgets, but in business zero-based budget, the concept is every year departments that roll up into a company-wide budget start fresh and look at what areas do they need to spend money on, how much do they need to have in office supplies, human resource expenses, what kind of marketing budget do they need. And it's really useful to just start fresh like that instead of just pull from last year and the year before and the year before that, (which is kind of how governments do it.)

Because what happens then is that you're spending money on things you think you have to spend money on. But if you start with a zero based concept, like what would your budget look like if none of the other things in your life, that were there last year had to roll into the next year?

And it's kind of a refreshing way of looking at it. Because it helps you think about, well, what if I lived in a different kind of house? What if I didn't have a car? What if I had a different kind of car? What if I decided I didn't need cable? There's a million what ifs.

So, if you turn to page 40 in the book, there's this the zero-based budget idea here that you can start to write down some things you might do to make your budget balance to 0 when you're done with it.

And I might have mentioned some crazy things like, what if you just stopped driving a car ... how much money would that save? When I encourage people to do "what ifs", it's not about jumping immediately and saying "oh my God, I could never do that, I could never sell my house, I could never not have a car, I could never, I could never, I could never. We all have a bunch of those. It's really about just throwing out a bunch of brainstorming ideas.

Look at the possibilities and see what you're  willing to have stick. If you're the person that absolutely has to have a car, well that's fine. But if your budget isn't balancing, somewhere you're going to have to make some kind of choices.

I always like to give an example of Waren Buffet. He can live anywhere he wanted. He can live in any house he wanted. Waren Buffet and his wife and family have lived in the same suburban ranch house for decades.

He values living in that house. He doesn't need to spend a ton of money on a really big home. We get so tied into the things we had to do. I had a client once who, she had such high credit card payments. She could not fathom when I asked, "What would happen if you just stopped paying those?". She just couldn't fathom it.

You know the truth is, she needed to stop paying them for awhile. And she went through a bunch of machinations of getting beyond that with her budget. To the point that she's flourishing now. She is back in integrity. But the truth was that her credit card payments were more than her mortgage. She couldn't do it. She had to let go of a whole lot of things to get to where she is now. Which is a pretty happy, healthy budget.

And she got there by taking a hard look at zero based budgeting. So I'd like you to look at this. I'd like you to just throw caution to the wind, write down a bunch of crazy ideas and pick a few that you think will really stick, that you're really willing to live with for awhile.

And as always I don't want you to have to do this alone. Over on Facebook, we have a private group called Team Do Better. There's a bunch of other people that are working on doing better with their money. Come join us. We also have a newsletter that comes out at least once a week at is where you can sign up. And over on YouTube. Head over there and subscribe to our channel. Have a great day and thanks for watching.

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